Wendelien van Oldenborgh presents her film Two Stones for its Rotterdam premiere, after its screening this spring in bauhaus imaginista at Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt. The artist speaks with cultural historian Hanneke Oosterhof, who features in the film, and who recently published a biography of the architect and Rotterdam city planner Lotte Stam-Beese - a recurring figure in Van Oldenborgh's work. The conversation is led by Saskia van Stein, curator and director of Bureau Europa, a platform for architecture and design.
Wendelien van Oldenborgh uses film as a form of social production - in particular utilising the format of the public film shoot. In addition to exploring alternative methods of creating a script, Van Oldenborgh often investigates aspects of Dutch colonial history and its effects and consequences for Dutch society today. Van Oldenborgh has exhibited internationally, including presenting her project her project Cinema Olandawas in the Dutch pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale (2017).
Two Stones explores the lives and ideals of Bauhaus-trained German architect Lotte Stam-Beese and Caribbean activist and writer Hermina Huiswoud through the dialogues and performances of contemporary protagonists. Similarities and differences between the individual life paths of the two women, as well as their expectations of communist ideology, can be felt through the thoughts and experiences of the protagonists, both whom have a personal or professional connection with the themes of the film. (2019, English subtitles, 61:15 min)
After the premiere, the film can be seen in the exhibition bauhaus imaginista - collected research at Het Nieuwe Instituut until 15 September.
Hanneke Oosterhof is a cultural historian. She has worked in the museum sector for over thirty years, most recently as Head of Presentation and Collection, and conservator of industrial culture at the Textielmuseum in Tilburg. In 2014 she started her PhD research into the life and work of urban developer and architect urban developer Lotte Stam-Beese at TU Eindhoven, leading to the biography 'Want de grond behoort ons allen toe' – Leven en werk van stedenbouwkundig architecte Lotte Stam-Beese published at Vantilt, Nijmegen. Oosterhof has previously published works on social history, women's history and cultural sciences.
Lotte Beese (1903-1988) studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau and worked as an architect in Berlin, Brno in Czechoslovakia, and in various places in the Soviet Union. In 1934 she came to the Netherlands with the Dutch architect and designer Mart Stam, whom she had married in Moscow. From 1946 she was an architect in Rotterdam, making her name with designs for modernist residential areas such as Kleinpolder and Pendrecht.
How does the Bauhaus relate to the contemporary global world? Dive into the world of bauhaus imaginista: read, look and collect texts and images and print out your personal Bauhaus research to take home with you. Key projects such as the Bauhaus Manifesto by Walter Gropius (1919), ein bauhaus film by Marcel Breuer (1926), the drawing Carpet by Paul Klee (1927) and the film Reflektorisches Lichstpiel by Kurt Schwerdfeger (1922) form the starting point in bauhaus imaginista for an investigation into the topicality of Bauhaus themes, such as pedagogical innovation, design debate, non-Western material cultures, and experimental image practices.
The travelling presentation bauhaus imaginista is a project of Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin Dessau Weimar, Goethe-Institut and Haus der Kulturen der Welt within the context of the Bauhaus centenary.
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Het Nieuwe Instituut
3015 CB Rotterdam
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