Well (stereoscopic installation, loop, 2017), by Arent Weevers

September 30, 2021
(Used by permission of the artist)

Arent Weevers is a Dutch pastor and grief counselor as well as an artist, and the images he creates speak to deep experiences of loss and vulnerability. He comments on his work:

The viewer often becomes aware of the irrevocable fragility of existence and of the unsolvability of your own suffering and that of the other. All in all, the viewer is asked to be daring and to contemplate it. You will be put on the track to God when you try to answer the call of the other.

In Well, Weevers imagines an infant—rendered exquisitely real through stereoscopic video—submerged in a well. To view the work, one must peer down through a grate in the floor of the historic crypt of St. Lebuinus Church, in Deventer, Netherlands. Watching this child float mysteriously in the depths might elicit anxiety or even guilt, and the artist hopes that viewers take the time to dwell in these emotions and reflect on their sense of responsibility to the most vulnerable.

Infants and mothers appear throughout Weevers’s oeuvre, often suspended in dark, uncertain spaces which emphasize their isolation. On the one hand, these figures evoke the Madonna and Child, the subject of so many Christian altarpieces and icons. Yet rather than evoking the reassuring tenderness of so many nativity scenes, Weevers’s video works place the burden on us to create narratives, to find intimations of hope in the darkness.