information De Rit/The Ride


Synopsis The Ride
This personal video installation takes you to an island. A driver and passenger are revisiting an experience that affected them both deeply. Now, as then, it is night; and the stars in the clear endless sky are right where they were back then.

Background of The Ride
Conflicts not resolved, produce new conflicts. Is it possible to break that tragic chain, by re-tracing a route? Re-entering a path, what could that bring? This question haunted us several years before it guided us to our first autobiographical work. One of us had experienced a tragedy that strongly resonated with movement and landscape. In the autumn holiday of 1974, Esther’s mother died in a car accident.
“At the time I was 12 years old. My family, myself included, eye-witnessed the accident. In my memory, the driver of the car had been drinking and the car had continued driving.
Colored by my family who suffered from war-trauma, decades of unspoken feelings about guilt, perpetrators, and victims followed. It was hard for me to find peace.”
Finally and more than forty years later, two threads came together: a desire for reconciliation and our artistic oeuvre where the experience of landscape, movement, and time are central.

The Ride was presented as an installation at Oude Kerk Amsterdam between Jan. 24 and March 2, 2019.
The Ride will be presented at IDFA Amsterdam between Nov. 20 and Dec. 2, 2019; Section Paradocs.


Biography PolakVanBekkum
Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum work together as artist-couple under the name PolakVanBekkum. Their work focusses on landscape and mobility.

Rooted in the history of Dutch realistic landscape depiction, they embrace new technologies to express personal experiences of spaces of the contemporary city and countryside. Their projects are often informed by collaborations with participants, be it humans, objects, or even the rays of the sun.

They have worked and exhibited internationally, at Transmediale Berlin, Ars Electronica Linz, ISEA Istanbul, ZKM Karlsruhe, London, IMAL Brussels, galerie dudokdegroot, Museo for Image and Sound Sao Paolo, Nairobi, Lagos, Marrakech, Paris, Philadelphia Percent for Art program, Los Angeles and Queensland.

In 2015 They did receive The Expanded Media Preis For Network Culture at Stuttgarter Filmwinters – Festival for Expanded Media with “The Mailman’s Bag.”

In 2005 Esther Polak did receive a Golden Nica for Interactive Art at Ars Electronica together with Ieva Auzina, for their MILKproject.



For online CV follow this link


Gaan om te Zijn/Go Move Be, 2018, 9’50”
The Fortune, 2018, 1’
A Collision of Sorts, 2017, 17’12”
Homestead II, 2017, 1’ – loop
Once We Get There, 2016, 49’50”
The Mailman’s Bag, 2014, 60’
π boy, 2013, 9’
What is done cannot be undone, 2011, 6’05”
Etak: A navigation Opera, 2011, 4’26”