Events — 3 Apr 2016

The Stedelijk Museum is proud to announce the presentation of Amateur, a new monograph about the work of the artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh. The Dutch premiere of Van Oldenborgh’s latest film From Left to Night (2015) will take place at the same evening. The film Bete & Deise (2012) will also be screened during the program.

Museum entrance ticket + 2,50 E
Teijin Auditorium
3 Apr, 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM
Main language
via, please do not forget to buy an museum entrance ticket, either online or at the counter

The publication and the films will be introduced by Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Frédérique Bergholtz (the director of If I Can’t Dance) and Emily Pethick (the director of The Showroom) under the supervision of Britte Sloothaak (assistant curator of Theory and Intepretation, Stedelijk Museum), followed by a lecture by the author and curator David Dibosa, who also contributed to the publication. Amateur is published in conjunction with the Dr. A. H. Heineken Prize for Art, which Van Oldenborgh was awarded for her oeuvre in 2014.


Amateur is the first comprehensive overview of Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s work over the past ten years. The publication brings together extensive visual material about her installations and films, together with contributions by authors, artists and curators who have played an important role in Van Oldenborgh’s work. The various authors reflect on the work in which they were involved, and in this way provide specific perspectives on Van Oldenborgh’s oeuvre and working methods. These authors are: Nana Adusei-Poku, Ricardo Basbaum, Frédérique Bergholtz, Eric de Bruyn, Binna Choi, David Dibosa, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Avery F. Gordon, Tom Holert, Nataša Ilić, Charl Landvreugd, Sven Lütticken, Anna Manubens, Ruth Noack and Grant Watson. Amateur was compiled by Emily Pethick and Wendelien van Oldenborgh with the assistance of David Morris and was designed by Julia Born. The monograph is a joint publication by If I Can’t Dance (Amsterdam), The Showroom (London) and Sternberg Press (Berlin).

The film Bete & Deise will also be screened during the program. This film premiered during the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2012 and was then widely screened internationally. It will be shown throughout the day in the Teijin auditorium on Saturday 2 April and before the book presentation on Sunday 3 April.


Bete & Deise

Video, Portuguese with English subtitles, 40 minutes

Bete & Deise stages an encounter between two women in a building under construction in Rio de Janeiro. Actress Bete Mendes and Baile funk singer Deise Tigrona have—each in their own way—given meaning to the idea of a public voice. Together these women talk about the use of their voice and their positions in the public sphere, allowing for the contradictions they each carry within themselves to surface. Through a montage that evocatively combines the voices of the women with their image, Van Oldenborgh confronts us with considerations on the relation between cultural production and politics and the potential power that is generated when public issues intersect with the personal. Bete & Deise was commissioned as part of If I Can’t Dance’s Edition IV – Affect (2011–2012), and was shot in Capacete’s premises in Rio’s Gloria district four years ago. The film has since been presented at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam, and at various institutions and festivals internationally, including a recent tour in Brazil.

From Left to Night

2k video, English, 32 minutes

From Left to Night (2015) is an experimental film production, in which a number of seemingly unrelated characters, places, events and fields of expertise come together during a two-day film recording in London. From Left to Night shows the encounter of six individuals at three locations and the various subjects and types of expertise which are involved, from urban tensions to new feminist and racial theories, musical videos, idealistic 1960s architecture and the personal way in which the protagonists relate to these elements. The film shows what is generated by these encounters, and examines the socio-racial dynamics and conduct, the power systems and architecture which provoke this conduct and maintain it, and the place of the individual and his voice in all this. The film was made in response to an invitation from The Showroom to make a new work in the context of Van Oldenborgh’s solo exhibition in 2015.


Wendelien van Oldenborgh (born 1962) lives and works in Rotterdam. Her work focuses on suppressed and forgotten social history. In her cinematographic structures, shown as films and installations, Van Oldenborgh provides room for a range of perspectives and voices. In this way her work examines the political, social and cultural relations in society and how these are manifested in social behavior. After completing her studies at Goldsmiths College in London, she worked for a long time in Belgium and Germany. She was recently awarded the prestigious Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art and went to Berlin for a year, participating in a residence of the Berliner Künstler programme des DAAD. Recent exhibitions of her work have included: From Left To Night, The Showroom, 2015; School of Kyiv, Kyiv Biennale, 2015 (curators: Georg Schölhammer and Hedwig Saxenhuber); Confessions of the Imperfect, 1848-1989-today, Van Abbemuseum, 2014; Dead Reckoning: Whorled Explorations, Kochi Muziris Biennale (curator: Jitish Kallat), 2014; the 12th Cuenca Biennale, Ecuador (curators: Jacopo Crivelli Visconti and Manuela Moscoso), 2014; Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789, 2013 (curator: Franscesco Manacorda), Tate Liverpool, 2014; If I Can’t Dance’s Edition IV Affect (2010-2012); 54th  Venice Biennale, 2011; 4th Moscow Biennale, 2011; 29th São Paulo Biennale, 2010; 11th  Istanbul Biennale, 2009, and Berlinale Forum Expanded, 2011, 2013 and 2015.

David Dibosa is the co-author of Post-Critical Museology: Theory and Practice in the Art Museum (Routledge, 2013). He was a student at Girton College, Cambridge, after which he did his PhD in the history of art at Goldsmiths College, University of London with his thesis “Reclaiming Remembrance: Art, Shame and Commemoration”. During the 1990s Dibosa curated various art projects in public spaces, including In Sight In View in Birmingham, United Kingdom. He was senior lecturer in art theory at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts, London from 2004 to 2008. Dibosa is currently the course director for the MA in Art Theory and the MA in Curating at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London.

Frédérique Bergholtz has been the director of If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (since 2005). Before that she was the director of Marres in Maastricht (1998–2005) and Exedra in Hilversum (1996-1998). She curated Art Sheffield (2010) and the performance programme of Festival a/d Werf in Utrecht (2005, 2006 and 2007). Bergholtz has initiated and is a member of Corpus, an international network for the production of performance art, and Performance Platform, an agenda for performance. She studied the history of art at the University of Utrecht and lectures at the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem and at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam. She collaborated with a large number of artists in new performances, film productions and publications for If I Can’t Dance, most recently with Gerry Bibby, Emily Roysdon, Sara van der Heide and Snejanka Mihaylova. She has also collaborated with curators on research projects about the work of Guy de Cointet, Matt Mullican, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, Louise Lawler, Babette Mangolte and Lucy Lippard, amongst others.

Emily Pethick has been the director of The Showroom in London since 2008. Between 2005-2008, she was the director of Casco, Office for Art Design and Theory in Utrecht. From 2003-2004 was a curator at Cubitt, London. At The Showroom she produced many new works with artists like The Otolith Group (2009), Lawrence Abu Hamdan (2012), Petra Bauer (2012), Ciara Phillips (2013), Ricardo Basbaum (2013) and Wendelien van Oldenborgh (2015). She started up the Communal Knowledge and Common Practice network and the European Cluster network. She has contributed to various catalogues and magazines, including Artforum, Frieze, Afterall, The Exhibitionist and dot dot dot and was the editor for the following publications: Casco Issues X: The Great Method (with Peio Aguirre, 2007), Casco Issues XI: An Ambiguous Case (with Marina Vishmidt and Tanja Widmann, 2008), Circular Facts (with Mai Abu ElDahab and Binna Choi, Sternberg Press, 2011) and Cluster: Dialectionary (with Binna Choi, Maria Lind and Natasa Petresin-Bachelez, Sternberg Press, 2014).


The book launch of Amateur and the film premiere of From Left to Night was organized by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution and the New Theory and Interpretation Department of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam together with the artist. With thanks to the Dr. A. H. Heineken Prize for Art and the Wilfried Lentz Gallery. The publication was made possible with the support of the 2014 Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art and the Mondriaan Foundation.