Biography

Saskia Olde Wolbers (Dutch) lives and works in London.

Since the mid-1990s Saskia Olde Wolbers has been working with video and has shown extensively in UK and international museums, galleries and public spaces.

Olde Wolbers’s short narrative videos combine carefully crafted fictional scripts with visuals that reveal other-worldly environments. Off-screen narrators address the fluidity of fact through biographies relating to notions of translation, neurosis and verisimilitude with an eye for wit and the absurd.

Referencing computer-generated imagery, her liquid visuals are entirely analogue, shot in real-time in model sets. Skeletal objects, architecture and living forms are given a “skin” when dipped in paint and submerged underwater. Materials are animated through this unpredictable confrontation of oil and water and become dripping, oozing and undulating matter oscillating between representation and abstraction. These recordings of sculptural and chemical lo-fi processes subvert the truth-telling qualities of filming reality.

Her videos incorporate soundtracks composed by Daniel Pemberton, who is well known for creating an inventive hybrid of musical media – from electronic to orchestral – throughout his work in film and television. In the process of editing the music, scripts and visuals together, and by presenting the finished works on a loop, Olde Wolbers creates a circular time structure that utilises an unfamiliar and new cinematic space.

Olde Wolbers has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the London Artists’ Film and Video Award, 2007; the Beck’s Futures Award, 2004; the Baloise Prize, 2003; the Charlotte Kohler Award, 2002; the Prix de Rome Film and Video, 2001. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections such as the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC, the Goetz Collection, Munich, the South London Gallery and the Museum of New and Old Art, Tasmania.

Recent solo exhibitions and projects include: Yes, these Eyes are the Windows, Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles curated by Bice Curager, Yes, these Eyes are the Windows Artangel commission, London, 2014; Art Unlimited, Art Basel 2014; Kinemacolor, Museum M Leuven, Leuven, Belgium, 2013; Ota Fine Arts in Tokyo and Singapore, 2013; Maureen Paley, London, 2012; Seven Screens, Osram, Munich; A Shot in the Dark, Secession, Vienna, 2011; Goetz Collection, Munich, 2010; Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, 2008; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2008.

Recent group exhibitions/screenings include: Our Machines, The Observer Building Gallery, Hastings 2016, Silence Out Loud, Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen, The Netherlands, Yes, these Eyes are the Windows, IDFA, Eye Film Institute, Amsterdam, curated by Bart Rutten, Stedelijk Museum; Folds in Time: Artists’ Responses to the Temporal and the Uncanny, conference at the Freud Museum; Black Box 2.0, Seattle Art Museum; Kino der Kunst, Munich, 2015; Twixt Two Worlds, Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Towner, Eastbourne, 2014; Unmade, Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, 2014; Penetrating Surfaces. Apparitions in Digital Space, Österreichisches Filmmuseum, Vienna, 2014; Visceral Sensation, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2013; Trapping Lions in the Scottish Highlands, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA, 2013; Open End, Sammlung Goetz at Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2012; In What We Trust, Art Miami, 2010; Automated Cities, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, 2009; The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality and the Moving Image, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, 2008.

Saskia Olde Wolbers is represented by Maureen Paley, London, and Stigter van Doesburg, Amsterdam, and is a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London.