The Ride – international

In november 2019 ‘The Ride’ had its world premiere for cinema theatre during IDFA in Amsterdam.


This autobiographical video work 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.

In spring 2019 The Ride was presented by and in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. The surround sound installation was installed in the Saint Sebastian Chapel, accessible via the main entrance to the Oude Kerk.


The following wall text (next to the entrance) welcomed visitors before entering the chapel:


The Ride
It came to me one day that I needed to return to the island. That I had to retrace the route he took that night, this time with me as his passenger. That we might stop at the spot, as if it were a portal.

And thus it was decided.

I would return, get in the car, and retrace the route, nothing more. The researcher said: “What should I do if I can’t find him, or if he won’t do it, or can’t?”
I replied: “Then find someone for whom it is equally difficult. Someone who was closely involved, or who had a similar experience while driving. Someone who could have been him. I don’t want to know about him.”
I asked the sound engineer to make it possible for the driver and me to hear each other’s heartbeat as we drove. That way we could listen to each other, even if we didn’t feel like talking.


To preview The Ride (below), please enter the password: “eiland”.




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.



Press (In English)
Amsterdam Art


Press (In Dutch)
Joyce Roodnat – NRC
Nooit Meer Slapen – Radio interview NPO
Hanna Hagenaars – How to Live


Technical/Curatorial preferences when shown as installation:
-A creative approach to the set up and relation between the work and the location.
-A space set up so that visitors feel invited to read the introduction text before and after the screening.
-A projection space that can be made sufficiently dark.
-No light leakage from the projector
-Surround-sound set up and position of monitors adjusted to space.
-No sound leakage to or from other spaces.
-Visitors per screening: 12-20.
-Sufficient time to test the above set-up.
-For a longer documentation video please follow this link

research: Monique Lesterhuis
concept supervision: Rabiaâ Benlahbib
sound: Arno Peeters
colorgrading: Laurent Fluttert
subtitles: Siji Jabbar

This film was realised with support of:
• AFK (Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst)
• Mondriaan Fund
• The Creative Industries Fund NL, the Dutch cultural fund for architecture, design and digital culture (Stimuleringsfonds / Digitale Cultuur /Onderzoek)
• Oude Kerk

Special thanks to: Hille van Dieren and Wim Zeeders
Oude Kerk team: Jacqueline Grandjean, Rieke Righolt, Richard Pelgrim, Zara Weijers, Laurence Ostin, Arjan van Asselt, Emma van Oudheusden.
Advice and moral support by: Mieke Bernink, Marietta de Bruine, Sinan Can, Peter Delpeut, Nicole Dudok, Bernet Elzinga, Quincy Gario, Jeditja de Groot, Krist Gruijthuijsen, Maureen Ho, Renske de Jong, Marlies Mannesse, Pe Oxc, Marianne Plas, Leendert Pot, Margriet Schavemaker, Rein Jelle Terpstra, Marc Thelosen and Ingrid van Tol

Artistic base
Esther and Ivar’s work is about movement and landscape. Over the past few years, the pair have developed a cinematographic method for synchronizing audio recordings with mapped routes. This allows them to create films that proceed within projected satellite images from Google Earth. Ivar and Esther’s aim is to make the tangibility of the landscape reveal itself only through movement and motion. The pair have made several films and works on video in this manner since 2010. One of these earlier works, the film “Go Move Be”, premiered at the 2018 Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht.

Contact PolakVanBekkum for more information.

Distribution: LIMA, Theus Zwakhals