Wendelien van Oldenborgh's film Bete & Deise, commissioned by If I Can't Dance as part of Edition IV (2010-2012), is presented in the exhibition Dear Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art Metalkova, Ljubljana from 29 November 2012 — 24 February 2013. The exhibition is curated by What, How and for Whom/WHW and addresses the standing of art in the contemporary world, its reception, distribution and value.
In van Oldenborgh’s film Bete & Deise, two women encounter each other in a building under construction in Rio de Janeiro. Bete Mendes and Deise Tigrona have – each in their own way – given meaning to the idea of a public voice. 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 the public intersects with the personal.
The exhibition Dear Art is inspired by a letter addressed to art by the Croatian conceptual artist Mladen Stilinović, and questions the relationship between art and commerce, or as Stilinović puts it ‘quick manipulation, quick money, quick oblivion’. WHW: “Amidst the disillusionment created by the persistent feeling of failure, ‘Dear Art' insists on the obstinate repetition of what has become the curatorial method. Obsessed with the interconnectedness of art and politics and plagued by the nature of art’s 'inefficiency,' it attempts to ask necessary questions: Why do we still need art, and what is it that we expect to get from art today? What is its promise, and what do we promise it in return? And what happens when this promise is broken, betrayed, and just plain exhausted?” Read more about the exhibition on the website of Museum of Contemporary Art Metalkova.
Bete & Deise was commissioned by If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution for Edition IV (2011-2012), and was financially supported by the Mondrian Fund and Wilfried Lentz Gallery, Rotterdam. With thanks to Capacete Entretenimentos, Rio de Janeiro.