WENDELIEN VAN OLDENBORGH, Après la reprise, la prise, 6 SEPTEMBER-11 OCTOBER 2009

Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Wilfried Lentz Gallery is very pleased to host Wendelien van Oldenborgh (NL, 1962) in our next exhibition, Après la reprise, la prise. The show consists of a new work, a 15 minute montage of slides, presented in a specifically conceived architectural environment.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, September 5th, from 5:00 till 7:00 pm and will run until October 11th.

During the opening, we will also present the publication, #1 Tia Ciata’s Open-House, The Everyday as Stage, along with a signed and numbered transcript of Après la reprise, la prise (edition 500).
It is the first in a new series of publications issued by Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam.
Publication and transcript can be ordered for 10 euro at Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam, Castillos/Corrales Paris, Pro qm Berlin, Boekie Woekie Amsterdam.

Please note that hours have changed for this exhibition:
Thursday – Saturdays from 4.30-7.30 pm and by appointment.
For further information and press images, please contact the gallery at office@wilfriedlentz.com or +31 (0)10 4126459.

Click here to download publication as pdf
Click here to download transcript as pdf
Click here to download artist text as pdf
Après la reprise, la prise was filmed on location at the Royal Technical Atheneum (KTA) in Mechelen (B) with a group of students from this school and two former Levis factory workers, who have become actresses. On the occasion of the film shoot, discussions about work and the loss of it, as well as speaking and appearing in public, developed without scripted text in this concentrated meeting between them. Stills from the filmed material have been transferred into slides to form a 15-minute montage, presented in a specifically conceived architectural environment.

Women – Work – Cultural Production
Around the same time as the surprise closure of Renault’s plant at Vilvoorde (Belgium) in 1997, the jeans manufacturer Levi-Strauss announced unexpectedly that it would close four of its twelve factories in Europe. Three of these four were located in Belgium, the fourth one just over the French border, in the region of Lille. Around two thousand, predominantly female, employees demonstrated, performing actions and strikes. In the end, the factories were closed and all of these women – many of whom had spent their entire working lives with Levi’s – found themselves with no employment.

In the summer of 2000, twenty-five of these women joined a two-month writing workshop by dramatist Bruno Lajara, who was interested in creating a play about their experiences. The resulting theatre piece, titled 501 blues, toured the whole of France successfully for two years. Some of these women kept working with the same director in various other productions, enjoying their roles on stage and making their voices public for the first time in their lives.

Being and speaking in public
For the slide projection Après la reprise, la prise, two of these women were invited to meet with a group of teenage students from the Royal Technical Atheneum (KTA), which took place largely in their recently dismantled sewing classroom. Most of these young students are often already employed and looking forward to roles in the contemporary work force. At one point in the dialogue, one of the actresses invites the students to articulate themselves publicly. The students, for their part, share their knowledge on appearances in public settings.

As with many of her previous works, here too, Wendelien van Oldenborgh confronts the past with the present in an active way. Taking specific historical situations as a starting point to examine current social conditions, she opens forms of investigation and production, assuming special interest in different narrative models and the politics and construction of subjectivity.

Recent international solo and group exhibitions include Contour, Mechelen (BE), Becoming Dutch, Van Abbemuseum (NL), The Demon of Comparisons (part of Electric Palm Tree) at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, 28th Biennal of São Paulo, As Occasions at Tent Rotterdam, Lecture/Audience/Camera at Muhka, Antwerpen. Van Oldenborgh will participate in the upcoming Istanbul Biennal with her work, Instruction.

Après la reprise, la prise was co- produced by Contour Mechelen, and supported by Fonds BKVB. The design of the architectural environment is in collaboration with Milica Topalovic.
With the new publication #1 a signed and numbered transcript of Après la reprise, la prise was published. Publication and transcript can be ordered for 10 euro at Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam, Castillos/Corrales Paris, Pro qm Berlin, Boekie Woekie Amsterdam.
Click here to download publication as pdf
Click here to download transcript as pdf