by Laurice Parkin
The video art of Saskia Olde Wolbers is transfixing to watch not only for the dreamlike fluidity accompanied by surreal narrative, but also to see the intensely complex handmade models that the artists films. These miniature sets combine both the architectural space and uniquely constructed parts to bring the artist's imaginative landscape to life. Unpopulated and desolate, the worlds are beautiful, strange and tragic all at once.
A Dutch artist based in London, Olde Wolbers often refers to real events using news footage infusing reality into the overall vision. Coupled with the narrative, you are drawn into the scene as a participant rather than simply an observer. Because of the extreme complexity of the work, she has created only nine videos to date because each takes an average of one to two years to complete.
One of her most acclaimed works, the six minute "Kilowatt Dynasty" (2000) will be presented at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo opening this Friday. The artist will also be speaking at the Museum on Saturday; it's a rare opportunity to hear the visionary behind the vision. See below for details.