Hercules Segers (1589/90–c. 1633–38), Mountain Gorge Bordered by a Road, c. 1615–30. Contre-épreuve of etching, with oil paint, 6 × 6 5/16 in. (15.4 × 16 cm). Collection Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; on loan from the Rijksacademic van Beeldende Kunsten
NARRATOR: Werner Herzog is a famous German filmmaker. He makes films about all kinds of things, including a man who lived with grizzly bears, prehistoric cave paintings, and even vampires.
For his Biennial artwork, Herzog created a project focused on Hercules Seghers, a Dutch artist from the 1600s. Seghers worked at around the same time as Rembrandt. Today, most people haven’t heard of him. It was said that Seghers was so poor that he couldn’t afford to buy artist’s materials and had to paint on his tablecloth and sheets. Some of his prints even ended up being used to as paper to wrap sandwiches and fish in!
When you enter this installation, you will see projections of Seghers’s dreamy mountainous landscapes and hear haunting cello music by the Dutch musician Ernst Reijseger. Herzog has said that Seghers’s, quote, “landscapes are not landscapes at all, they are states of mind; full of angst, desolation, solitude, a state of dreamlike vision,” end quote. Take a look for yourself and see what you think!