Witte de With opens its new season under the direction of Nicolaus Schafhausen with two exhibitions: the thematic group exhibition Don Quijote and the first solo exhibition in the Netherlands of Mathias Poledna.

The exhibition will present two of his recent film installations ”Western Recording (2003) and Version (2004)” in dialogue with works in other media, giving viewers a concentrated and unique insight into his practice.

Poledna’s art is informed by historical research, by archives and collections. In his work, he shares and develops his interest in the histories of avant-garde cinema, of modernism in architecture and design, of the crossovers between popular culture and art and of the post-conceptualist critique of institutions. In recent years, his projects have taken the form of highly reduced filmic reconstructions that suggest ephemeral moments from 20th century culture, often popular culture, yet in a much broader sense, of modernity.

“Poledna’s methodical and formal aesthetic research at the intersections of archive and subjectivity make the latter objects of a highly formalized art, without ever suppressing the tensions that are created between timelessness and historicity. Through an extreme reduction of the narrative moments to the structure of the loop and the systematic dashing of expectations of a realistic representation of history, he subjects himself to the accusation of dissolving the historical in the aesthetic. However, instead, Poledna’s installations react to a crisis of the concept of history and the precarious status of historical events, they emanate from this crisis.” (Tom Holert)

This exhibition is curated by Renske Janssen and is accompanied by a cinema screening conceived by Poledna as an integral part of the exhibition. The publication Western Recording has been produced for this occasion by WdW Publishers and Museum of Modern Art Foundation Ludwig Vienna (MUMOK), featuring an introduction by Matthias Michalka and Nicolaus Schafhausen, with essays by Alexander Alberro and Nora M. Alter, and Tom Holert (in Dutch, English and German).
ISBN 90-73362-67-9 (25 euro).


Friday 28 April
3 p.m. Press conference followed by drinks with the artist and curator.
5 p.m. Artist’s talk and publication launch: Mathias Poledna in conversation with Willem de Rooij, chaired by Nicolaus Schafhausen.
6 p.m. Opening night.
11 p.m. After-party with DJs Roeland 303 & David Lieske at Zaal De Unie, Mauritsweg 52, Rotterdam.

Thursday 18 May
7:30 p.m. Film screening organised by Mathias Poledna.
Films with Music from Central Africa China Haiti Jamaica North America: Adebar, Peter Kubelka (1956, 69 sec.)
Meditation on Violence, Maya Derens (1948, 12 mins)
Sufferers’ Version Mathias Poledna (2003, 6 mins, 30 sec.)
Introduced by Nicolaus Schafhausen.

Location: Lantaren/Venster, Gouvernestraat 133, Rotterdam, www.lantaren-venster.nl.