L E   F I F A
L E   F I F A
Sculpting This Earth

North American Premiere

Sculpting This Earth

Victor van Aswegen

South Africa | 2023 | 1 h 35 min
Jouer Trailer
Selected at multiple festivals in South Africa, Sculpting This Earth follows internationally acclaimed artist Strijdom van der Merwe over four consecutive seasons as he travels to remote locations in the southern African interior to make beautiful land art works in a striking range of spectacular natural settings. Featuring 25 fleeting artworks, the film shows the artist at work in the landscape sharing his thoughts as he finds his canvases in nature: valleys, forests, a lagoon, the arid semi-desert… With stunning cinematography and an extraordinary soundtrack including 11 pieces of music composed for it, this documentary is both meditative and contemplative. Shot over more than a year, the new film from award-winning director Victor van Aswegen is the world’s first feature documentary about land art from the southern hemisphere, and a profoundly moving reflection on life and transience.

A sublime experience in every sense” - Business Day
A complex and nuanced film – an artwork in itself” - The Cape Robyn

Strijdom van der Merwe was born in 1961 and studied art in South Africa at the University of Stellenbosch, in the Netherlands at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht, in the Czech Republic at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, and in the United Kingdom at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Canterbury.
He works internationally and has made land art works in South Korea, Turkey, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Namibia, Sweden, Lithuania, Japan, United States, Australia, Germany, Kenya, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, Finland, Malta, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland.

A reflection on life and transience

Much more than just another film about art, Sculpting This Earth is meditative and moving. The artist’s works, voice and thoughts, the passage of the seasons, the range of landscapes traversed, the arc traced by the sequence of artworks, and the emotional journey through unforgettable pieces of music all combine to create a space where the viewer can sit with his or her own thoughts and emotions for 95 minutes. It is in the nature of most of the artworks and the way they are presented in the film that they are minimal, suggesting rather than imposing interpretation, leaving the decision as to meaning largely to the viewer. But for those willing and able to bring their thoughts, interpretations and feelings to the works, Sculpting This Earth can speak powerfully about our relation to the natural world, the cycles of nature and of life, the transience of our lives, growth, decline, creation, destruction, beauty, death – and much more besides.
Overview of some festivals:
Public Art festival, South Africa (2023)
Journey to Jazz Festival, South Africa (2023)
Hermanus FynArts, South Africa (2023)
Land Art Festival, South Africa (2023)
The Bioscope, South Africa (2023)
Director Victor van Aswegen
Production Mike Spittal, Strijdom van der Merwe
Executive Production Rudolph Willemse
Artist Strijdom van der Merwe
Sound Victor van Aswegen
Cinematographer Victor van Aswegen
Music Kristi Boonzaaier

In Partnership with



• Centre Canadien d’Architecture
Thursday, march 21, 2024, 03:00 p.m. — 04:45 p.m.


Victor van Aswegen

Victor van Aswegen

Victor van Aswegen is a Cape Town-based filmmaker with a background in, successively, law, economics, development, finance, private equity, consultancy, and business analytics. As filmmaker and founder-owner of CineSouth Studios, he now works principally as director and producer. His work to date has dealt with the nature of complex systems, the traumatic experience of people forcibly displaced by conflict and persecution, the parallel arcs of urbanisation and the human life cycle from childhood to parenthood, and an urban resilience stress event in the form of the 2017 – 2018 Cape Town water crisis. Before Sculpting This Earth (2023) he made two other films about artists and their work: Máquina do Mundo (2017), a conversation with Paris-based artist Katja Gentric, and Displaced (2020), a retrospective of the oeuvre of South African artist Emma Willemse that has garnered acclaim on the global film festival circuit, with laurels from more than sixty festivals on five continents to date.

Biographical notes provided by the film production team

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