Independent curator, Susan Gibb, Associate Curator with the organisation If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution in Amsterdam, introduces the film, Bete & Deise (2011), by Dutch artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh. The film is 40 minutes in length.
Film still from Bete & Deise (2011), by Wendelien van Oldenborgh.
About Wendelien van Oldenborgh
Wendelien van Oldenborgh has recently been awarded the 2014 Heineken Prize for Art, the Netherlands’ wealthiest art prize. She is based in Rotterdam and her practice explores social relations through an investigation of gesture in the public sphere. She often uses the format of a public film shoot, collaborating with participants in different scenarios, to co-produce a script and orientate the work towards its final outcome, which can be film, or other forms of projection. Tackling social themes, her multi-level projects juxtapose voices, spaces and relationships to re-constitute the invisible and sometimes confusing subtext of our mediatised reality.
Van Oldenborgh studied at Goldsmiths College, London, and Beaux Arts, Paris, and her extensive exhibition history includes the 54th Venice Biennale (2011) and the 4th Moscow Biennale (2011). She will shortly be exhibiting at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2014); in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kerala (2014); and at the Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2015). She also teaches at the Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ, Arnhem, and at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague.
About Bete & Deise
Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s film, Bete & Deise (2012) stages an encounter between two women in Rio de Janeiro - Bete Mendes and Deise Tigrona. These women have – in their own way – given meaning to the idea of a public voice. Bete Mendes (1949) has maintained a political career while acting in popular telenovela roles since the 1960s. Deise Tigrona (1979) is a Baile funk singer who rose to international acclaim before stepping back in recent years due to the pressures of combining her music career with her family life in the impoverished community of Cidade de Deus. Together these women talk about their experience with performance and their position in the public sphere, allowing the contradictions they carry to surface. Bete & Deise is the final work in a trilogy of works by van Oldenborgh stemming from her research into the shift towards affective labour in which elements of performance are increasingly incorporated into contemporary labour conditions.
Bete & Deise is commissioned by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, Amsterdam, and is financially supported by the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture and Wilfried Lentz Gallery, Rotterdam. With thanks to Capacete Entretenimentos, Rio de Janeiro, and WORM, Rotterdam.