Wendelien van Oldenborgh's film Bete & Deise, commissioned by If I Can't Dance as part of Edition IV (2010-2012), is presented as part of Becoming Voice, a two-day programme of films and live performances at South London Gallery, London from 26 – 27 October 2012.
The programme is curated by Florian Wüst and Maxa Zoller and explores artistic approaches to the way in which technological and socio-political pressures shift our means and modes of communication. Films by historical and contemporary artists are on show, including works by Hollis Frampton, Karen Mirza & Brad Butler, Wendelien van Oldenborgh and Katarina Zdjelar, among others. Live performances by artist Mikhail Karikis and Berlin-based video and performance artist Karolin Meunier investigate the immediate and fugitive nature of the voice.
Bete & Deise
Van Oldenborgh’s new film Bete & Deise stages an encounter between two women in Rio de Janeiro: Bete Mendes and Deise Tigrona. These women have – each in their own way – given meaning to the idea of a public voice. Bete Mendes (1949) has continued to maintain a political career alongside her acting career in popular television since the 1960s. Deise Tigrona (1979) is a Baile funk singer who in recent years rose to great popularity. She was forced to take a step back when it became too burdensome to combine her music career with her tough family life in Cidade de Deus.
Together these women talk about their experience with performance and their position in the public sphere, allowing for the contradictions they each carry within themselves to surface. Bete & Deise is the final work in a trilogy of works by Van Oldenborgh that have each come from a research into current changes in labour conditions and our understanding of the collective and the public voice and the role of cultural production in this.
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.