b. 1962, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Berlin, Gemany
National Gallery Singapore
Instruction looks at an unresolved episode of a Dutch military intervention in Indonesia after the end of World War II, during Indonesia’s struggle for independence. Wendelien van Oldenborgh worked with four young cadets from the Royal Netherlands Military Academy who read out a script written by her. The script consists of varied material about the conflict: travelogues of the artist’s mother, transcripts of a television show debating the incident and the memoirs of a Dutch army captain from the period. The film offers multiple points of view about an individual’s position within a group and within the context of a historical moment.
No False Echoes looks at the subjects of freedom of speech and the dominant narrative in history within a democratic context. The film’s departure points are the first radio connections between the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies, in which the Philips broadcasting company, together with the transmitter Radio Kootwijk, played an essential part in presenting a homogeneous narrative. Their aim was to ensure that no opposing voices representing the ideology of the Indonesian republicans would interfere with the colonial broadcasting programme. Wendelien van Oldenborgh also queries the structure of public debates of the current day, in tandem with how critical ideas are oftentimes obstructed.
Images courtesy of the Artist
Wendelien van Oldenborgh (b. 1962, Rotterdam, the Netherlands) develops works whereby the cinematic process is used as a methodology for production and as the basic language for various types of presentation. She often uses the format of a public film shoot, collaborating with participants in different scenarios, and with such works, she looks at the structures that form and hinder us. Recent presentations include: ‘Cinema Olanda,’ a solo at the Dutch Pavilion in the 57th Venice Biennale (2017) and ‘I am a native foreigner’ at Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2017–2018), Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2014) and the Danish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011). She lives and works in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Berlin, Germany.