‘Cinema Olanda Film’ by Wendelien van Oldenborgh premiered in 2017 at the Venice Biennale. It was shot in a single uncut sequence in St Bavo Church, situated in one of the Netherland’s exemplary modernist postwar districts designed by Lotte Stam-Beese. Bauhaus trained and affiliated with CIAM (the International Congresses of Modern Architecture), Stam-Beese became one of Rotterdam’s main urban planners in the 1950s.

The experimental film alludes to the presence of multiple alternative voices behind the screen of Dutch postwar society, which was recasting itself as a uniform modern State. This experimental film shows that the self-proclaimed image of the open, tolerant and modern state in fact excludes many other stories. The film presents a wide range of voices and themes. References range from figures like the Dutch Caribbean revolutionary Otto Huiswoud (1893-1961), who played an important role worldwide in race, class and anti-imperial issues, to the popular 1950s Indo-rock music associated with the massive post-independence immigration from Indonesia.

This presentation is part of our new programming space: the Annex. In the Annex, the concluding space of Expo 2 & Expo 3, Centraal Museum gives contemporary artists an opportunity to present their work in a way that adds a surprising perspective to the themes explored in the main exhibition. Pendrecht and Kanaleneiland were designed and built in the same ‘zeitgeist’. Through her work, Van Oldenborgh seeks to offer a critical and decolonial perspective on these post-war developments.