Wouter Osterholt (1979) is a Dutch visual artist based in Berlin, Germany. He studied at the Free Media department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and graduated in 2001. His work is site- and context specific and manifests itself along the fault-lines and breaking points of our (political) landscape where social and ecological injustices, conflicts or problems come to light. He often uses a methodology of recontextualization, reusing existing material, such as buildings, monuments, sculptures, rituals or archival material. These reappropriations or reconstructions are a way to question and problematize the focus on exclusivity and authorship within our capitalist society and to declare them as part of a larger public discussion in which individuals are challenged to express their personal relationship to the political. His goal is to bring politics back in the public sphere and test the (im)possibilities of alternative ideas which question the existing hegemony. Osterholt tests the boundaries and presuppositions, which form the fundament of our accepted reality. He uses participatory elements in his work as a way to break through passivity and alienation that seem to be inextricably linked to the individualized society and the way culture is experienced. But the role of participation in his work is certainly not an end in itself and is always in the service of an investigation into more fundamental questions.
Generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund (2018 – 2022)