Saskia Olde Wolbers

Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows

Hackford Road, London
03 May 2014 - 22 June 2014
Yes, these eyes are windows, and this body of mine is the house. – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

What traces of lives can a place contain? In Brixton, London, a blue plaque on the front of an innocuous terraced house commemorates a past resident — a young man by the name of Vincent van Gogh. The sign was erected after a local postman traced the artist to the property (resident from 1873 until 1874) whilst taking advantage of a postal strike in the 1970s; its installation saved not only the house but much of the surrounding area from demolition.

Since the last tenants departed in 2012, the property stood empty but then two years later Saskia Olde Wolbers opened the front door once more. Frustrating the desire to uncover a history of one man's time in the house, the artist wove a fictional narrative from the accounts of oral histories, press archives and literary works, and presented visitors with one particular narrative that enabled the space to speak its past.

Image: Inside 87 Hackford Road, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows (2014). Photograph: Marcus Leith

Video: Interview with Saskia Olde Wolbers

4 minutes 22 seconds
Read more

Interview with Saskia Olde Wolbers at 87 Hackford Road

In this video, the artist is interviewed about how the house in Brixton began to intrigue her, the stories inherent in a home, and how the installation transformed this terraced property in south London.

This video is also available to watch on Vimeo and YouTube.

Director: Matan Rochlitz

Image: Inside 87 Hackford Road, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows (2014). Photograph: Marcus Leith

Audio: Antony Hudek, The Fantasy of the House Museum

1 hour 3 minutes 17 seconds
Read more

The Fantasy of the House Museum

Antony Hudek, at the time curator at Raven Row gallery, speaks about the fascination elicited by house museums as a curatorial site.

His talk, titled Our House in the Middle of our Street begins with a quote from Jean-François Lyotard, Libidinal Economy (1974): "the representative room is an energetic apparatus", Hudek proposes Lyotard's ideas as a particularly useful way of approaching Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows.

Recorded 5 June 2014 at The Type Archive, 100 Hackford Rd, London SW9 0QU, United Kingdom.

This recording is also available to hear on Soundcloud.

Image: Inside 87 Hackford Road, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows (2014). Photograph: Marcus Leith

Audio: Jane Rendell, Site-Writing

55 minutes 13 seconds
Read more


Jane Rendell, Professor of Architecture and Art at the Bartlett, UCL, speaks about transitional spaces in architecture and psychoanalysis.

Rendell presents four readings that all relate to Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows; each a response to the work and its overlapping areas with her own concerns such as the architectural fringes between internal and external worlds, the relation of cultural history to personal memory, and how one can use voice and the structures of fiction and narrative to reconfigure the past and the present.

Recorded 19 June 2014 at The Type Archive, 100 Hackford Rd, London SW9 0QU, United Kingdom.

This recording is also available to hear on Soundcloud.

Image: Inside 87 Hackford Road, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows (2014). Photograph: Marcus Leith

Audio: Michelle Baharier, R. M. Sánchez-Camus and Rachel Anderson, On Our Way Here

1 hour 18 minutes 15 seconds
Read more

On Our Way Here

In this talk, Rachel Anderson speaks about how Artangel approaches the commissioning of collaborative works, Michelle Baharier talks through the beginnings of the CoolTan Arts organisation in squatted spaces in Brixton and R.M. Sánchez-Camus introduces his practice in applied live art. Together, they discuss the project At the Crossroads With Vincent which was developed alongside Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows.

Recorded 15 May 2014 at The Type Archive, 100 Hackford Rd, London SW9 0QU, United Kingdom.

This recording is also available to hear on Soundcloud.

Image: Inside 87 Hackford Road, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows (2014). Photograph: Marcus Leith

About Saskia Olde Wolbers

Read more

Saskia Olde Wolbers

Born in The Netherlands in 1971, Saskia Olde Wolbers lives and works in London. Applying a process of research into oral history, literary works and academic text to her audio installation with Artangel, Olde Wolbers brings into focus two important aspects of her work, the voice over and the composed sound track. Ordinarily known for her video work, she creates fictional narratives linked to real life events, often those that are in the public eye.

Recent solo exhibitions include 'Kinemacolor' at M Museum Leuven, Leuven, Belgium in 2013; Ota Fine Arts in Tokyo and Singapore in 2013; Maureen Paley, London, 2012; 'A Shot in the Dark' at the Secession, Vienna in 2011; the Goetz Collection, Munich in 2010; the Art Gallery of York University in Toronto and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo in 2008. Recent group exhibitions include' Visceral Sensation', 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan, 2013; 'Trapping Lions in the Scottish Highlands', Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA, 2013; 'Open End', Sammlung Goetz at Haus der Kunst in Munich in 2012; 'Monanism', Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania in 2011; 'Automated Cities', San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego in 2009; and 'The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality and the Moving Image', Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, 2008, toured to CaixaForum, Barcelona in 2011.

Olde Wolbers is represented by Maureen Paley London and Galerie Diana Stigter Amsterdam.


Image: Saskia Olde Wolbers. Photograph: Jill Wooster. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Production Credits

Read more

Production Credits


Lu Kemp – Associate Director
Elena Peña – Sound Design
Freddie Lippi – Installation Sound Engineer
Cis O’ Boyle – Lighting Design 
Daniel Pemberton – Music

Audio recorded at Essential Music with Dave Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown


R.M. Sánchez-Camus – Production Manager
Alexa Reid – Fine Detail
Stefano Farfariello – Carpentry


Tom Brooke
Pippa Haywood
Jack Klaff
Amanda Lawrence
Colette O’Neil
Paul Ritter
Sophie Stanton
Nick Underwood

Produced for Artangel by Rachel Anderson


Lu Kemp: A director and also a dramaturge working across physical theatre and dance as well as theatre for radio, Kemp has most recently directed Neil Gaiman's book The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish for National Theatre for Scotland and The Arabian Nights at the Tricycle Theatre. Kemp is an Associate Artist with Inspector Sands and a visiting tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Freddie Lippi: Originally from Rome, Freddie has studied Musical Theatre in New York City where she has led a successful career in Stage and Production Management. In 2000 she moved to London to study Sound Engineering and has since worked in a very broad range of live and recorded arts applications; from live sound mixing for music, theatre and conferences through to sound design and art installations. Freddie is very pleased to be involved in yet another Artangel’s innovative and inspiring project.

Tom Brooke: Brooke's screen roles include The Boat That Rocked (2009) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) as well as a role in the BBC's Sherlock, Foyle's War and Game of Thrones television series.

Amanda Lawrence: An actor who has played both Emily Davison, the suffragette who died beneath the feet of King George V's horse and the Devil, in Bijan Sheibani's Damned by Despair at the National Theatre, Lawrence has also appeared in features directed by Mike Leigh, Luc Besson and Woody Allen alongside TV and stage appearances.

The interior of 87 Hackford Road for Saskia Olde Wolbers, Yes, These Eyes Are the Windows (2014). Photograph: Marcus Leith


Read more

Who made this possible?


Commissioned and produced by Artangel, with the kind permission of James Wang and Alice Childs and supported by the Mondriaan Fund, the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Invisible speaker technology supplied by Feonic

Artangel is generously supported by Arts Council England and the private patronage of the Artangel International Circle, Special Angels and The Company of Angels.