Saskia Olde Wolbers
«Now That Part Of Me
Has Become Fiction»

8th May – 27th June 2004

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Saskia Olde Wolbers, Placebo, 2002 

Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen 

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Saskia Olde Wolbers, video still, Placebo, 2002 

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Saskia Olde Wolbers, Interloper, 2002 

Photo: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen 

The Dutch video artist Saskia Olde Wolbers (*1971, lives in London) has attracted international attention over the last few years with exhibitions throughout Europe. In 2003, her work in the "Statements" section of the Basel Art Fair received the Baloise Art Prize.

The works of Saskia Olde Wolbers are extremely popular. Her films even fascinate viewers unfamiliar with the art world. Although there are no actors involved, Wolbers's tales provoke emotional reactions. The protagonists are only present through the voice of the off-screen narrator. Wolbers's moving, painterly vocabulary of abstract forms surprisingly reveals itself as a visual correspondence to the storyline. The actual plot develops as a fiction in the mind of the perceiver.

In both video installations Placebo and Interloper, Wolbers narrates one identical story from each of the points of view of two lovers. They lie together in intensive care after a serious car crash. From the woman's version (Placebo), we learn about her suspicion that her lover, supposedly a married doctor, could have been deceiving her for years about his profession and his marital status. The model-like representation of a hospital room progressively fades away as the true story is shockingly revealed.

The artist's images and stories seem to be familiar to us, despite the relative absence of any spatial or temporal orientation in her films. In fact, Saskia Olde Wolbers's work refers to true TV or newspaper reports. However, the artist changes and expands the story at her own discretion. The protagonists thereby land in a spatially and temporally displaced meta-world, literally the artificial world of fiction. Saskia Olde Wolbers reminds us of the basic conditions with which the medium of moving images functions: on the one hand, the attraction of an imaginary, yet living reality; on the other hand, the tragedy of melodrama.

The exhibition Now That Part Of Me Has Become Fiction at the Neue Kunsthalle St.Gallen presents four large-scale video projections with sound (Interloper, Placebo, Day-Glo, Kilowatt Dynasty).

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