Wendelien van Oldenborgh: The Work We Do

12 October 2015 from 19:00 to 20:30 hrs
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Lecture by visual artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh, followed by an interview about her development as an artist.

About the presentation

By showing fragments of recent and previous works and discussing her way of working whereby the experiment takes place in method and in form – in her case forms of cinematic language and space – Wendelien van Oldenborgh will throw some light on how for her the making of art is connected to life, society and our current conditions.

“I am not out to create works that describe something or come to insights through forms of representation. What interests me much more is how a work can be performative. How it 'does' and initiate something; or perhaps can confront productively. Bring things into resonance with each other in a new way. A work that is done, and a work that does something. Rather than work which is done and then consumed. Although my works do not always result in actual films, I do find the cinematic model interesting for this. The production as well as the experience of 'film' carry many challenging values. Ranging from the essentially collaborative nature of the production process, via the possibilities of the elements out of which the film is constructed – image, word, sound, gesture and setting – to the potential of immersive experience a 'film' can offer. With these elements and all the relations that are engaged into through the process I can try to realize some transformative scenarios. I see art as an intellectual effort, in which we use different languages – visual and otherwise – as well as sensations, to think further. Production is a process of thinking. And practice is therefore a form of thinking, of working through.”

About Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Oldenborgh-van-Wendelien-14585The work of visual artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh (born in 1962) accesses parts of reality that often remain hidden from view elsewhere in public life. Van Oldenborgh gives images and sound their own authority, rather than using them to support her story. An older example is Sound Track Stage(2006), where she set up the representatives of two subcultures, ‘Gabber’ and ‘Hip Hop’, for a musical and verbal confrontation. The confrontation unfolded at Rotterdam’s Boijmans van Beuningen Museum and was shot professionally and screened as it took place. Her precisely chosen social or historical themes are always closely connected to a location, and to film or photography.

Van Oldenborgh has exhibited at the São Paulo (2010), Venice (2011) and Istanbul (2009) biennials. She studied at Goldsmith College in London and worked in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. She teaches at various art academies. Last year she won the Netherlands’ largest prize for visual artists, the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art.


Society of Arts