Dutch entry 57th Venice Biennale
Wendelien van Oldenborgh
Curator: Lucy Cotter
Commissioner: Mondriaan Fund
13 May – 26 November 2017
Preview: 10 – 12 May 2017
The Mondriaan Fund is pleased to announce that Cinema Olanda by artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh (1962) and curator Lucy Cotter (Ireland, 1973) will be the Dutch entry for the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale, taking place in 2017. With this decision, the Mondriaan Fund follows the advice of a jury of experts, who selected the proposal from five plans shortlisted following a national call for submissions.
The presentation developed by Wendelien van Oldenborgh in collaboration with Lucy Cotter was selected due to the quality of the artist’s existing body of work, the curator’s reputation, the added value of the collaboration between the artist and the curator, and the relevance of the proposal. According to the jury, Cinema Olanda connects intimately with the zeitgeist and shares unique and important cultural narratives. The jury members expressed their appreciation of the prominent role played by dramaturgy in the proposed filmic works, allowing viewers to observe a new development in the artist’s oeuvre.
“I’m at a loss for words. It’s an honour, a great pleasure and a tremendous responsibility. This will be a wonderful moment to share the current transformations in Dutch society with an international audience.” (Wendelien van Oldenborgh)
Cinema Olanda approaches the Dutch Rietveld pavilion (1953) as a Modernist projection of the Netherlands, and seeks to reconsider what lies beyond its aesthetic and ideological frame, both at the time of it’s making and in the present. Three new filmic works will make space for lesser-known episodes in Dutch postcolonial history and explore how they resonate with current transitions in the Netherlands’ cultural and political landscape. The exhibition will be accompanied by a live programme in Venice and a multidisciplinary symposium, to be held in the Netherlands in partnership with Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), The University of Amsterdam.
Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s work is acclaimed for its use of the cinematic format as a methodology for production, with live (public) film shoots generating the collective co-production of scripts. Her recent film-based works are presented in dynamic relation to site-specific architectural installations. In 2014, Van Oldenborgh was presented with the prestigious Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art. A monographic publication, Amateur, which addresses Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s film works and accompanying installations, was jointly published by Sternberg Press, Berlin; If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam and The Showroom, London in 2016. Van Oldenborgh’s work will be included in the upcoming Aichi Triennale, Toyohashi, Japan, 2016 and in the Athens Biennial 2017.
Lucy Cotter is an independent writer and curator whose work explores the interplay of the aesthetic, the political and the unknown. She is editor of Reclaiming Artistic Research, forthcoming with 17, Institute for Critical Studies, Mexico City and currently writing a further book entitled Art Knowledge: Between the Known and the Unknown. Cotter has initiated over 25 exhibitions and events as director of the Master Artistic Research, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (2010-2015) and co-curated such projects as Here as the Centre of the World (2006-08), which took place in six cities worldwide. She holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, focusing on national curatorial representation in a postcolonial context.
The jury was made up of Lorenzo Benedetti (curator), Nathalie Hartjes (Director of Showroom MAMA), Aernout Mik (visual artist) and Mirjam Westen (Curator of Contemporary Art at Museum Arnhem). The jury was chaired by the Director of the Mondriaan Fund, Birgit Donker.
The Mondriaan Fund, a publicly financed fund for visual arts and cultural heritage, is responsible for the Dutch entry to the Venice Biennale. For the 57th edition the fund again issued an open call to curators and artists, who were asked to produce a plan in keeping with a State event. The Dutch pavilion in the Giardini forms an important platform that contributes to the Netherlands’ international prestige. The presentation at the Rietveld Pavilion is funded from the international budget issued to the fund by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.