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Supposing I love you. And you also love me.

002 / 1 November 2011

Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Supposing I love you. And you also love me, 2011

Architectural intervention with bench and projection, montage of still images with dialogue sound, English subtitles, 13'

Courtesy of the artist


Wendelien van Oldenborgh's artistic practice explores social relations and the role of gesture in the public sphere. Utilising the format of a public film shoot, she collaborates with participants in different scenarios to co-produce a script which can, in turn, constitute a film or become another form of projection.


Supposing I love you. And you also love me (2011) is Oldenborgh's most recent work, co-commissioned by If I Can't Dance I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (Amsterdam) and presented at Speech Matters, the exhibition held at the Danish Pavilion on the occasion of the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy. It is also being shown in November 2011 at Wilfried Lentz gallery in Rotterdam, as part of an architectural intervention. For Ibraaz, van Oldenborgh has adapted her installation for this digital space through the combination of script and four fragments from the slideshow in a small format.


The work was conceived as an entr'acte to van Oldenborgh's larger research project, and has developed out of a collaboration with a group of young Belgian and Dutch students from different backgrounds. It also brings in the voice of Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss-Egyptian philosopher, theologian and professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University. The collaboration resulted in a script that exposes the mechanisms used to silence certain voices in current society, specifically in the Netherlands. The students act as a chorus in a playful interchange with Ramadan's ideas and thoughts, which explore issues such as diversity, fear, conflict, and his own interrupted engagements in the city of Rotterdam.


The script was formed ad hoc, during the shoot, and was guided by the cast's own real-life experiences and forms of expression. The final short montage of slowly dissolving still images and dialogue has been edited as a polyphonic composition of voices, musical tones and images - each discrete inscription resonating with the others in their difference.


Freedom of speech is one of the key issues in current public debate, one that is constantly contested and rethought. The issues explored in Wendelien van Oldenborgh's work are not singular and are presented as a reflection of what is also happening in other northern European countries and, given the steady erosion of civil liberties in many countries today, this work also informs any discussion of events and developments in the Middle East & North Africa. 


Amira Gad




Scene 1 - Place

Fragment: 00:37:23 to 02:15:09


Scene 2 - Situation

Fragment: 04:59:01 to 06:45:19

Scene 3 - Fear and Suppression

Fragment: 06:45:20 to 07:59:10


Scene 4 - Attack

Fragment: 08:55:09 to 11:46:14



About the artist

Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Wendelien van Oldenborgh is an artist based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She received her art education at Goldmiths' College, London, during the eighties and has been living again in The Netherlands since 2004. Van Oldenborgh has participated in the 54th Venice Biennial (2011), the 29e Bienal de Sao Paulo (2010) and the 11th Istanbul Biennial (2009). She has exhibited widely, including at the Van Abbemusem, Eindhoven; the Generali Foundation, Vienna; the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; MuHKA Antwerp; the ICA, London. She recently received the Hendrik Chabot Prize 2011 from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Netherlands. Wendelien van Oldenborgh is represented by Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam.