WENDELIEN VAN OLDENBORGH
4 JULY - 20 OCTOBER 2019
CURATED BY ANNA MANUBENS
Wendelien Van Oldenborgh explores social relationships through a process of research into gestures in the public sphere. The essential concern of her practice is “speaking out in public”, a form of making a political statement from the social body, incorporating theatrical and performative elements of the gesture of speaking. This is translated into installations with video that compose environments with architectural references as symbolic expressions of society: fractured social montages that maintain their complexity but which also conform their audience, containing a possibility for the inclusive production of heterogeneous counter-audiences.
Van Oldenborgh has developed a sophisticated methodology of production inextricable from the concerns it deals with: the form of creating her filmic structures is exhibited as content, allowing the spectator to reconstruct the complexity of social relationships that unfold in narratives in the present associated with a shared history. The filming is addressed as a meeting point for collaborative participation, translating the public space of the action into a public cinematic space. In her own words: “it is a question of creating a set of parameters and conditions so that a real situation can take place in them.” A cinematic polyphony that approaches research as an active force in the process of creation but also in the presentation to the spectator.
Her main concerns have centred on colonial and decolonial processes and their effects on multiculturalism in Dutch society today, confronted in recent years with the presence of xenophobic discourses represented by factions of far-right populism. It is precisely polyphony that allows her to put into motion genealogical histories around issues of migration and race relations: as an induced yet uncontrolled process, open to its own and multiple counter-narratives, the protagonists of her works are brought together in a space where they can deploy the problems to be examined without any kind of preconceived script.
A catalogue will be published to coincide with the exhibition.