Images Letters Stones [2019]

lenticular prints with subtitles-video
27 min. and 26 min. respectively
architectural viewing structure in collaboration with Laura Amann

Adrienne Brown
Roy Kinsey
Hannah Dawn Henderson
Ievgeniia Gubkina
Maya Smolnyaninova
Ola Hassanain
Hanneke Oosterhof
Jolanda Renfurm
Roman Budetskiy

commissioned by
2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial 
...and other such stories, 2019 CAB ︎

In her film-based work, Wendelien van Oldenborgh collaborates with professional and non-professional actors and performers to generate scripts that explore politics, history and contemporary society. Images Letters Stones addresses the history of modernism – the international movement that developed in the late 19th and early 20th century across culture and society as a response to the advancements of modern life - through the lens of race and gender. 

Taking the form of an outdoor cinema screen, Images Letters Stones is conceived as an epilogue to van Oldenborgh’s recent film work Two Stones (2019) ︎, which explored the trajectories and ideals of the Bauhaus-trained German architect Lotte Stam-Beese and the activist and writer Hermina Huiswoud, who fought for racial and class equality through communism in the 1920s and 1930s.

The words in Images Letters Stones are partly drawn from archival material related to their lives, including statements from Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer, lover of Lotte Beese; Langston Hughes, good friend of Hermina Huiswoud; Homer Smith and Louise Thompson, both Chicagoan African Americans who went to the Soviet Union in the 1930s; Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, architecture historian and partner of the first director of the New Bauhaus in Chicago and Irene McCoy Gaines, Chicago’s housing and civil rights activist throughout the 1930s to 1960s. These voices are put in dialogue with contemporary figures from housing activism and scholarship in Kharkiv, Rotterdam, and Chicago.

(Form the exhibition guide 2019 Chicago architecture Biennial) 

Installation view of ...and other such stories, Chicago Cultural Center, CAB, 2019. Photographs by Kendall McCaugherty

Lenticular print in the viewing object. Photographs by Cory Dewald