Placebo is a fictional story based on the syndrome Pseudoligica Phantastica, where invented experiences are presented as reality.
The video is set within the intensive care unit of a hospital with the off-screen narrative told by the mistress of a supposedly married man who claims he is a surgeon. Regaining consciousness after a car crash that her now comatose lover orchestrated, she begins to unravel his intricate web of deceit.
Images of empty hospital interiors, a drip, effervescent pills and various molecular structures, melt away into liquid globules. Placebo is filmed in real time in miniature sets covered in paint and submerged in water.
A soundtrack of electronic samples plays in tune with the melting droplets.
Voice over: Sukie Smith
SD PAL DV video, 4:3 ratio, colour, stereo sound, 06:00 min loop
Signature & date
Signed on DVD master, black fibre-tipped pen "Saskia Olde Wolbers". Not dated. Signed Certificate of authenticity, black pen "Saskia Olde Wolbers". Not dated.
John Kaldor Family Collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales
Not on display
© Saskia Olde Wolbers. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London
Referenced in 2 publications
Stijn Huijts, Gianni Jetzer and Patricia Ellis, Saskia Olde Wolbers: now that part of me has become fiction, 2003, (colour illus.).
Natasha Bullock, John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Saskia Olde Wolbers', pg.296-99, Sydney, 2011, 296, 297-98 (colour illus.).