Witte de With transforms into an adaptable platform for groups and individuals who have informed Cinema Olanda artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh and curator Lucy Cotter’s presentation in the Dutch pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale 2017. A series of changing presentations and a six-week event program will be programmed by Quinsy Gario (Artist, Poet), Charl Landvreugd (Artist, Curator, Writer), Patricia Pisters and Esther Peeren (ASCA, University of Amsterdam), New Urban Collective (Jessica de Abreu, Mitchell Esajas), and University of Colour (Katayoun Arian, Louise Autar, Max de Ploeg).

Cinema Olanda: Platform is an ever-evolving exhibition incorporating a six-week long dedicated program of live events that extends Wendelien van Oldenborgh and curator Lucy Cotter’s presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale. It forms the most extensive manifestation of their wider collaborative project that ‘brings home’ the exhibition’s questions surrounding the Netherlands’ (inter)national image vis-à-vis current transformations in the Dutch cultural and political landscape. Cinema Olanda: Platform at Witte de With not only brings Van Oldenborgh and Cotter’s presentation in Venice to a full circle, it is also a homecoming for the Rotterdam-based artist.

Artists and activists who appear in Van Oldenborgh’s new films for Venice are among those invited to guest-program a six weeks series of events at Witte de With. Cinema Olanda: Platform includes special live broadcasts of ‘Roet in Het Eten’, Quinsy Gario’s talk show, film screenings and talks curated by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), and an ongoing archive-making endeavor for The Black Archives by New Urban Collective, alongside contributions from Tessa Boerman (Film Director), Egbert Alejandro Martina (Writer), Simone Zeefuik (Writer), Nana Adusei Poku (Lector, Hogeschool Rotterdam), and Wayne Modest (Head of the Research Center for Material Culture, Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen). Participating groups and individuals are invited to use the institution as a further site of production for existing projects, which are presented together with film installations by Van Oldenborgh in an exhibition scenography designed to adapt and mutate dependent on the needs of each activity.


Opening Weekend (16th – 18th June):

Talks, Performances, and Screening of Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s Prologue: Squat / Anti-Squat (2016). With contributions from Nana Adusei Poku (Lector, Hogeschool Rotterdam), Egbert Alejandro Martina (Writer), Wayne Modest (Head of the Research Center for Material Culture, Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen), and Simone Zeefuik (Writer).

Week 1 (19th – 25th June):

The Black Archives on Tour: Hidden Stories of Black Resistance in the Netherlands, by New Urban Collective (Jessica de Abreu, Mitchell Esajas). Live archiving of major new acquisition

Week 2 (26th June – 2nd July):

Live broadcasting of talk show Roet in het Eten, by Quinsy Gario (Artist, Poet)

Week 3 (3rd – 9th July):

Film program Black Film Matters, by Patricia Pisters and Esther Peeren, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam, with contribution from Tessa Boerman (Film Director)

Week 4 (10th – 16th July):

Decolonial Options; Imagining the futurity of decolonial practice with the University of Colour, by The University of Colour (Katayoun Arian, Louise Autar, Max de Ploeg)

Week 5 (17th – 23rd July):

“Holland Mijn Mars”, Charl Landvreugd

The exhibition also features previous filmic works by Van Oldenborgh, including The Basis for a Song (2005), Maurits Script (2006), Instruction (2009), and Supposing I love you. And you also love me (2011). Each variously explores the clashes, confrontations and histories of legitimated forms of social control such as colonialism and nationalism, and the interpersonal relationships between those grappling with and contesting these edifices.

Cinema Olanda: Platform will temporarily house part of The Black Archives, sharing its process of archiving of a major new acquisition with a wider public. The Black Archives contains several collections of books, manuscripts and ephemera that collectively document black history and culture in and beyond the Netherlands. This archive formed a source of inspiration for Van Oldenborgh’s two new films for the pavilion: Cinema Olanda (2017), which was shot on location in the Rotterdam district of Pendrecht, and interweaves the story of Suriname-born political activist Otto Huiswoud, regarded as one of the first black members of the American Communist Movement, and Prologue: Squat/Anti-Squat (2016), which centers around a large squatting action in Amsterdam in the 1970s by a Dutch Caribbean group, and features people from various squatting movements ranging from the 1960s until now. Prologue: Squat/Anti-Squat (2016) will have a special screening at Witte de With during the course of the exhibition.

About Cinema Olanda

Cinema Olanda: Platform is conceived and co-organized by artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh and curator Lucy Cotter, together with Witte de With Director Defne Ayas, and Curator Natasha Hoare, as well as the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam. Cinema Olanda is the Dutch representation at the 57th Venice Biennale, commissioned and financed by the Mondriaan Fund, a publicly financed foundation for visual arts and cultural heritage. Cinema Olanda was selected from 68 proposals with a unanimous jury vote. According to the jury, this project connects intimately with the zeitgeist and shares unique and important cultural narratives. Cinema Olanda is partnered by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam; Akademie van Kunsten (KNAW); Wilfried Lentz Gallery, Rotterdam; and Nuova Icona, Venice. De Groene Amsterdammer is the media partner for the Cinema Olanda public program. For further information about the Dutch entry please visit: www.venicebiennale.nl