A documentary about art, travel and watching.
Rolf Weijburg is one of the best etchers in the Netherlands. In the Dutch tradition of the cartographers and draughtsmen who upon voyages of discovery, the world feeds his art. His colourful and detailed etchings depict his long rambles around the whole world. He understands the art of travel like no other. And he understands what watching is all about.
Eefje and Arnold have also adopted Weijburg’s way of travelling. From such a slow way of travelling – really watching things, truly experiencing things and getting very close to a place you’ve travelled to and, in particular, staying there for some time, come stories, films and books that allow you see the added value of this method. The work of Prospektor is often called ‘slow journalism’ – emerging yourself in a certain area or subject for an extended time – and Weijburg’s work could be called ‘slow art’. There can be months or even years between travelling and etching. A journey has to sink in, the dust has to settle before he can create a pithy etching. Weijburg spends a month working on an etching, provided he is able to work on it without interruption. Each year he makes around six etchings. The most important theme in this film is therefore the art of travel and the art of watching. However, the film is about much more. It is also a portrait of a disappearing craft. The story of adventures. An ode to the colourfulness and diversity of the world, superbly depicted by cameraman Thomas Roebers.
In The Art of Travel, Arnold and Eefje take the viewer on a journey through the Weijburg’s world: his work, his artistry and his travels. This all takes place through his etchings, which form the core of his work. However, Weijburg is also a witty writer and raconteur. In the film, Weijburg completes his ‘Atlas of the Worlds’ Smallest Countries’ on the African islands of São Tomé and Principe. Through the use of subtle animations and sound design – including Weijburg’s collection of sound recordings made during his travels – the etchings are brought to life and the viewer is able to accompany him to distant shores.
The Art of Travel was produced with the help of a small amount of funding from RTV Utrecht and the Mediafonds. The remaining funds required were raised through a crowdfunding campaign through the Voordekunst organisation relying strongly on the long-established support of Weijburg fans.