Netherlands 2015, 70 min, English and Dutch, Hebrew & English subtitles
“Strandbeests” roam the beach all summer, with squeaky plastic arms swinging and sails fluttering. In winter, they head back to their birthplace: Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s studio. He tends to these enormous wind-driven machines, and tries to improve them just as if they were living creatures and he was their creator. Millions of fans follow his strandbeests on YouTube, but Jansen hopes to display them in museums as well and win the art world’s recognition.
The creatures began with a dream that Jansen had as a child. “They told me everyone was dead, and that I would die too. It was terrible.” In response, he decided to create a new species would survive after him, maybe even forever. The strandbeests are just the first stage in their evolution. “I am like a sorcerer,” he says, “and my illusions fill me with joy.”
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