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In Proximity: Wendelien van Oldenborgh

“In Proximity” is an ongoing series featured on Prospections, in which artists discuss their practice and work in relation to present unfolding urgencies. Combining artist talk, studio visit, and momentary reflection, these conversations are meant to provide insight into artistic methods aimed at social change today.

In this first session, which connects to Prospections’s inaugural focus of “Tactical Solidarities,” BAK’s Curator of Public Practice Rachael Rakes enters into a conversation with artist and BAK 2017/2018 Fellow Wendelien van Oldenborgh [1]. Van Oldenborgh’s collaborative filmmaking practice often employs intergenerational and cross-cultural engagements in order to rethink and revise recent histories, thereby injecting new imaginaries into the present. These works of deep research, listening, and questioning are in formation and content a practice of social solidarity.

Throughout this session, Van Oldenborgh traces the ideas and compositions of a few recent works, including Two Stones, 2019, which compares the trajectories of Caribbean activist and writer Hermina Huiswoud and German architect Lotte Stam-Beese; From Left to Night, 2019, which looks back at the London riots of 2011, considering the difference between, or lack of difference between, riot and revolt; and Prologue: Squat Anti-Squat, 2016, which illuminates the under-acknowledged history of squatting actions by the Dutch-Caribbean community in 1970s Amsterdam—born out of necessity in response to racist housing policies—and juxtaposes them with more recent local squatting movements.

This conversation took place on 5 June 2020.