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Wanderlust

Video, 2011

Meantime Multiplex 2011, Cheltenham; CEOS 2011, London; Marginal Arts Festival 2011, Roanoke, US

Wanderlust is a chronological log of video observations recorded over a year during walks in London, my camera operating like a mobile CCTV. Made without a narrative, each clip is a fragment of life as it unfolds in front of a compact camera, the ambient sounds evoking other pictures beyond the boundaries of the frame. Wanderlust celebrates exploring London by foot and my enjoyment of walking, at the same time emphasising the pleasure of standing still and observing. 

As part of the Marginal Arts Festival in Roanoke, US, I worked with photographer Christine Carr who made a small-town-America interpretation of Wanderlust.



‘Roelof Bakker’s Wanderlust [is] a neat package in the locked-off mode of classic post-Keiller London film-stalking.…The compositions…were very painterly – especially those rus-in-urbe pastoral tunnels with smoke or dust or yellow council interventions. Above all, there was a real sense of witness, of spending hours stalking the city, smiling over surrealist captures, putting the observer in a challenging relationship with the subject.’ – Iain Sinclair

‘Every surface ripples with tragicomic potential. A gangly guard in oversized red cape stomps around in front of Whitehall; a sex doll is impaled on some vicious spikes; a hand written sign tells us mordantly: ‘Fluffy cat found dead’. Wanderlust’s mood depends on the timely distribution of elements, from the sublime (an urban fox sleeping in a garden) to the ridiculous (a trumpet player whose only visible presence is a flared horn peaking out from behind a wall). This is humour in the minor key, muddled with signifiers of sexual desire and daily tragedy.’ – Colin Perry


In 2012 I worked with US photographer Christine Carr who made a Roanoke-based version of Wanderlust, her work screened at the 2013 Marginal Arts Festival and at other US venues.

Wanderlust was included in Meantime Multiplex 2011 curated by Sarah Bowden at the Meantime Gallery in Cheltenham and was shown at Crouch End Open Studios, London 2011 and at the 2012 Marginal Arts Festival in Roanoke, Virginia, US.  A screening event with Q&A of both versions of Wanderlust took place at the Meantime Gallery in 2013.


Standard definition video, colour, sound, 30:20 min, 2011

Excerpt of Christine Carr’s version of Wanderlust at https://www.christinecarr.com/wanderlust.html


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