Wendelien van Oldenborgh
Antrepo No.3

Born in 1962, Rotterdam. Lives in Rotterdam.

The work of  Wendelien van Oldenborgh often questions the position of the individual in a larger political framework and in a punitive social environment, challenging notions of personal and collective responsibility.
Her film Instruction (2009) begins with William Faulkner's famous quote from his book Requiem for a Nun: 'The past is never dead. It's not even past'. It addresses the unresolved traumatic events of the Dutch military intervention in Indonesia following World War II, euphemistically called a 'police action'. The film casts a group of young cadets from the Royal Netherlands Military Academy who perform a script consisting of excerpts and quotes from different sources: personal diaries, historical broadcast transcripts related to the topic and essays, that all in a more or less direct way tackle collective responsibility and the heritage of the colonial past. The installation includes two photographs taken by the artist's father during a trip to Indonesia in 1981. This was the first visit to the country by the artist's mother since she spent four years in an Indonesian concentration camp after wwii.
Instruction is located in the space between real people and the imaginary protagonists they represent; the artist leaves in a moment of dislocation in which young cadets stop to obediently follow the instructions of the script whilst spontaneous reactions of laughter or awkwardness are activated by their reading of the dialogue.