Uploaded December 13, 2015
Curator Siddharta Perez's
Saturn in the Skies: Noteworthy 7 from 2015
text by Siddharta Perez except where noted
WHEN Saturn moves prominently in the skies, it resuscitates the old guards and cements a new world order. 2015 was called a year of wisdom, crystallizing tracks in history with projections of how the future will carry that order. This list contains notable resuscitations and alliances cemented in 2015 by the “networking” and discursive cartographies initiated in the past few years.
NSK from Kapital to Capital (Neue Slowenische Kunts – An Event of the Final Decade of Yugoslavia) (11 May - 16 August 2015, Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Excerpt from the exhibition blurb at http://www.mg-lj.si/en/exhibitions/963/nsk-from-kapital-to-capital/:
"In 1984, three groups—the multimedia group Laibach (established 1980), the visual arts group IRWIN (1983), and the theatre group Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre (SNST) (1983–1987)—founded the Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK) art collective. That same day, the three groups founded a fourth group, the design department New Collectivism. Later, NSK established other subdivisions: the Department of Pure and Applied Philosophy, Retrovision, Film, and Builders.
"The exhibition NSK from Kapital to Capital covers a period that marked the final decade of Yugoslavia, highlighting the fact that NSK was no less a critic of the coming global capitalism than of the failing outgoing socialism. In the latter respect it differed both notably and fundamentally from the liberal critique of socialism. Rather than employ the standard forms of artistic critique or irony, NSK based its approach on subversive affirmation and over-identification, articulating, among other things, the kind of society the groups envisioned after the collapse of socialism."
Selecter FM Sessions session with Merv Espina (27 May 2015, Post Gallery)Did you get to see one of the year's Selecter FM Sessions? Well, there are probably a couple available on YouTube, but here's the text from https://postpablo.wordpress.com/ about the event series:
"Selecter FM Sessions is a monthly event organized and hosted by Post Gallery enjoining artists, designers, film makers, hobbyists, hangers-on, etc. (to) spin, dj, or program a selection of music, (films,) or videos downloaded from youtube, vimeo, or vine, or even a 'curated' videoke playlist for an afternoon of casual listening, viewing and exchange of ideas."
And so, in the Selecter FM Sessions session of May 27, independent curator Merv Espina played rare recordings of pop and dance tunes from the golden era of the late '50s to the '70s from Armenia, Cambodia, Republic of Malay, Cameroon, Thailand, India, Rhodesia, Upper Volta, etc.
Thousandfold (launched May 2015)Thousandfold is an artist-run active space for contemporary photography in Manila, Philippines, committed to the expansion of visual literacy through updated collections of local and international photobooks, a program of critical workshops surrounding photography, and a project lab for small press and independent publishing.
The space also houses a specialty small-batch bookstore dedicated to international and independent photobooks/artist books direct from their authors and publishers.
Exhibition blurb from: http://nusmuseum.blogspot.sg/:
"Centred around the notion of the bibliographical and its limits, Open Excess is an ongoing project that aims to re-present materials donated to the NUS Museum by art historian T.K. Sabapathy. In themselves, these materials offer invaluable glimpses into the framings and development of Southeast Asian historiography and Sabapathy’s critical contributions to the field of Southeast Asian art histories. Here, however, they are presented with the accompaniment of other texts, images and programmes in order to prompt further readings into the various representations and reproductions of Southeast Asia. Taking as its point of departure Sabapathy’s call to test, and, if necessary, reinvent 'Southeast Asia' over time, this project will be subjected to periodical revisions. At issue, then, is also the experience and contingencies of writing Southeast Asia itself through the exhibitionary form or otherwise."
Hacking Conflict: Biennale Jogja XIII – Equator #3 (1 November – 10 December 2015, Yogyakarta, Indonesia)This edition of the Biennale Jogja provided a collaboration between artists and cultural producers from Yogyakarta and Nigeria in the spirit of mapping conversations between equatorial places. The curatorial brief invited an experimentation in “negotiating conflicts, disorderliness, misconceptions and differences of opinions—all inherent in our democratic systems.”
The main exhibition held 32 works that were activity-based, interactive and participatory in nature. The parallel events and Equator Festival, on the other hand, provided the multi-disciplinary and lab projects of artistic groups with activistic communities as well as a mapping of conditions surrounding the Biennale's history.
Roberto Chabet monograph book printing and launchAs a consequence of the artist’s retrospective series in 2011, the extensive monograph on the life and art of Roberto Chabet, titled Roberto Chabet, was finally printed and launched by King Kong Art Projects in October 2015.
Here's the press blurb from King Kong Art Projects:
"Arguably the most important Filipino artist, curator and teacher of the postwar generation, Chabet laid the foundations of contemporary art in the Philippines with his conceptual works that critiqued the rigid conventions of Modernism. Using mostly readymades, found objects and other everyday materials, he asserted a practice that is based on 'the ephemeral, the fugitive, and the contingent' in art.
"This landmark book edited by Ringo Bunoan clues readers into the complicit threads of truth and fiction that runs through Chabet’s lifetime work. It includes a personal foreword by Benjamin Bautista and several essays by Filipino artists and curators (including) Ronald Achacoso, Ringo Bunoan, Lena Cobangbang, Cocoy Lumbao, Jonathan Olazo, Carina Evangelista, Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez, and Ma. Victoria Herrera. The book explores different aspects of Chabet’s practice and persona, offering multiple vantage points from which to view and understand his work. Drawing from Chabet’s extensive archive, it contains hundreds of images of artworks, exhibitions, and gatherings of artists, many of which are published for the first time. Supplementary texts including a comprehensive timeline and bibliography also provide further contextual information."
The opening of National Gallery SingaporeHere's the blurb from https://www.nationalgallery.sg/about/about-the-gallery:
"National Gallery Singapore is a new visual arts institution which oversees the largest public collection of modern art in Singapore and Southeast Asia. The Gallery is housed in two national monuments—former Supreme Court and City Hall—that have been beautifully restored and transformed into this exciting venue in the heart of the Civic District.
"Reflecting Singapore’s unique heritage and geographical location, the Gallery will feature Singapore and Southeast Asian art in its long-term and special exhibitions. It will also work with leading museums worldwide to co-present Southeast Asian art in a wider context, positioning Singapore as a regional and international hub for the visual arts." [d]
Siddharta Perez is a Filipino curator mostly based in Singapore. She is a co-founder of the curatorial platform Planting Rice
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