£7 (£5) + booking fee
Keywords is a lecture series evaluating keywords in art, culture and society. It takes its title from Raymond Williams’ seminal book ‘Keywords: a Vocabulary of Culture and Society’ first published in 1976, which looks at how the meaning of words change as the context in which they are used changes about them.
Keywords Lecture: Trade
Artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh discusses ‘trade’ in relation to her new film La Javanaise which has its UK premiere as part of this event.
Trade plays a central role in the history of the development of a particular textile known as Dutch Wax or Wax Hollandaise. Produced using a technique based on the traditional Javanese resist-dye method of batik, it is a cloth that emerged in the second half of the 19th century as European textile companies, aiming for the Dutch East Indies market, tried to imitate the technique industrially. Yet instead of catching on in the East Indies, the cloth became more and more popular in regions of West Africa.
The departure point for the lecture is the circularity of relations between a Dutch textile company, former colonies in the East Indies and the display of colonial history, and current African markets within contemporary, globalised textile trading systems. It uses the example of the textile company Vlisco, which, under recent pressure of imitation from Chinese producers, now brands itself as a fashion label and creates images in the Netherlands, with international African top models presenting the products to an African clientele.
Based on these investigations, La Javanaise is a filmic exercise considering the visual and economic aspects of the relationship between Vlisco and the emerging textile markets in Africa. Filmed with the palimpsestic image-making of the Tropenmuseum and Royal Tropical Institute (former Colonial Institute) as a backdrop, the film focuses on the contemporary, where image and performance play a significant role in commercial exchange. Featuring fashion model Sonja Wanda, with regular commissions from Vlisco; artist, writer and former model Charl Landvreugd; and the writer and theorist David Dibosa, La Javanaise proposes a set of loose connections between ideas of authenticity and imitation, trading and branding, performing and posing, presenting and becoming image.
The lecture and discussion are followed by a premiere of La Javanaise.
Wendelien van Oldenborgh
Wendelien van Oldenborgh is an artist based in Rotterdam. She develops works, which display social conditions by focusing on relations and gestures in the public sphere. The cinematic format is used as a methodology for production and as the basic language for various forms of presentation. Van Oldenborgh often uses the format of a public film shoot, collaborating with participants in different scenarios, to co-produce a script and orientate the work towards its final outcome. Van Oldenborgh has exhibited widely and participated in the Venice Biennial 2011, 4thMoscow Biennial 2011, the 29th Bienal de São Paulo 2010 and the 11th Istanbul Biennial 2009.
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