The Disappearance situates itself in the architectural setting of a previous exhibition Paradise Lost. It works with what is left out: the traces of the show in the space; its echoes in our memory, The Disappearance conceals and reveals: what has happened before and what will follow. Subject to operations of installation and de-installation, an exhibition space if continuously edited: we erase one text to inscribe another. The Disappearance acknowledges the inherent changes into an exhibition space and its continuous rewriting. What happens after an exhibition is over? What we remember? How we remember?
Curated by Anca Rujoiu (Curator for Exhibitions) and Vera Mey (Curator for Residencies), The Disappearance is conceived as a durational event unfolding over two days including a continuous series of manifestations from live performances to film screenings.
6 Apr 2014, Sun 2:00pm - 3:30pm
The tear down refers to that period of change after the exhibition has finished – the moment of de-installation and erasure. Thinking through the exhibition as an architectural ruin where residue remains and resonance cannot evaporate, the artworks in this selection try to make sense of traces in an on-going reflection on the old and the new.
With works by Cyprien Gaillard, Mona Vatamany & Florin Tudor, Malak Helmy, Deigo Tonus, Marie Shannon
Cyprien Gaillard, Desniansky Raion (2007) is a three-part meditation on the failed utopias of the past and present with reference to the Eastern Bloc. The first section of the video navigates from a monumental triumphal arch in Belgrade, Serbia to a battle between two hooligan gangs in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg. The second part captures the façade of a high-rise block in Paris with lights projected on.
This grandiose staging, usually saved for historical buildings, ends abruptly with the building collapsing. The last section wanders through Desniansky Raion, a district in the suburbs of Kiev where the circular arrangement of communist blocks recalls the megalithic monument of Stonehenge, England. Desniansky Raion unwinds to an electro-lyrical composition by artist and musician Koudlam.
Cyprien Gaillard lives and works in Berlin. In his work, he reflects upon meanings and memories of monuments and landscapes that have been erased and replaced by the effects of time and social and cultural transformation. He had numerous solo exhibitions, including MOMA P.S.1, New York (2013); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2011, 2008); the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011). In 2011 he was awarded the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst and the Prix Marcel Duchamp.
In the filmed performance of Vacaresti (2006) by Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor, “Florin Tudor traces, with string and small wooden sticks, the outline of the church from the Vacaresti Monastery in Bucharest, Romania demolished by the communist regime in 1986. Retracing the shape of the lost building functions as symbolic recuperation and gains resonance in relation to current plans to build a commercial mall on the same site, situating the work between an unclear ‘then’ and a problematic ‘now’, pointing at loss and at the entropy that architecture ‘constructs’ while it seeks to embody power, be it political or economic.” (Mihnea Mircan)
Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor live and work in Bucharest, Romania. They have been working together since 2000. In their works they confront the traumatic legacy of Communism in Romania and Eastern Europe, while wrestling with the ongoing challenge of how to process history. Recent exhibitions include Extracity, Antwerp (2013); Kunsthalle Lissbon (2013); Frankfurter Kunstverein (2013); DAAD Galerie, Berlin (2012).
Malak Helmy, Keyword searches for dust (2009) is a narrative of dust in its mutable forms investigates and it, itself, gets caught in a symptom. A condition. A form sheds its properties and characteristics, becoming contagious: an avalanche razes a populated residential plateau; spontaneous combustions erupt in both a people’s assembly archive and a national theatre, in the countryside a home-bound train catches fire.
Malak Helmy lives and works in Cairo, Egypt. Her work explores relationships between constructions of language and constructions of place; the line between private and public, science and magic, and metaphor. Helmy’s work has been exhibited at the 63rd and 64th Berlinale Forum Expanded,(2014 and 2013); the 9th Mercosul Biennial (2013); Frankendael Foundation (2013); Beirut (2013); Camera Austria (2013); 9th Gwangju Biennial (2012); amongst others.
Diego Tonus, Hour of the wolf (2010) is a film disclosing the backstage of The Collectors, a project curated by Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset for the Danish and Nordic Pavilions at the 53rd Venice Biennale of Art, 2009. The video shows the exhibition’s dismantling and demolition, the fictional dimension of the set design as well as the collapse of illusion between the staged objects, suggesting a different vision of them.
Diego Tonus lives and works in Amsterdam. His works addresses the boundaries between truth and fact, reality and fiction, presentation and representation, mediation and lived experience. His work has been recently presented at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); the 9th edition of Furla award (2013), Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (2013).
Marie Shannon, What I am looking at (2011), takes its title from Julian Dashper’s work, What I am reading at the moment (1993)- a library chair with a pile of every issue of Art Forum to 1993. The video uses rolling text with simultaneous voiceover to describe the contents of an artist’s studio and the work that needs to be done to make sense and create order once the artist is no longer there. The text describes categories and lists of objects: the precious, the mundane and the baffling.
Marie Shannon is an New Zealand-based artist. Her work has always been concerned with her immediate surroundings, and has at times addressed the work of other artists. Following the death of her partner, the artist Julian Dashper, in 2009, she has been cataloguing his art works and archive in their shared Auckland studio. It is from this process that she has gathered the material for her text-based videos.
Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, The Body and the Lens in the City, brings together single-channel video works of performance by seven artists born and living in Cambodia. In archaeological practice, a rescue archaeologist is required to react urgently, yet carefully, to a transitional moment in which there is a threat of change and irrevocable loss, aside from the archaeologist’s efforts to document. During a critical time of rapid urban, social, economic and cultural change and continuity in Phnom Penh, artists in Cambodia have been working with a sense of timeliness, inspired by or in response to memory, place, and the fluctuating urban present. Rescue Archaeology presents the selected artists and works within the framework of multiple inquiry: into nascent and overlapping practices in performance and video in Cambodia, and the relationships between these practices and their relation to the city.
Khvay Samnang, Untitled (2011), filmed throughout 2010, as the Cambodian government quietly partnered with private companies to in-fill and develop Phnom Penh’s lakes, Khvay Samnang made nine precarious performances in five of the capital’s largest water bodies. He entered the lakes, among refuse, vegetation, or families dismantling their homes, searching for an unknown anchor on which he could balance his body. It is from these landscapes that Untitled begins and ends as Khvay pours one bucket of sand over his head. This quiet and succinct act was for posterity: a marker of change, and a gesture of solidarity for the increasing number of evictees country-wide.
With subtle humour and coded communication, Khvay Samnang (b. Svay Rieng) offers new interpretations of history, contentious current affairs, and longstanding cultural practices. His practice spans from photography, video to performance. Recent exhibitions include Staging Cambodia at HAU, Berlin (2014), Everyday Life, 4th Asian Art Biennale (2013) and If The World Changed, 4th Singapore Biennale (2013). He is a founding member of the artist collective Stiev Selapak.
Lim Sokchanlina, The Rock (White Building) (2011), was created in response to the private encroachment on the historical Front du Bassac, an area developed in the 1960s as Phnom Penh’s cultural district by Cambodia’s iconic urban planner and architect Vann Molyvann. Atop the bustling and now dilapidated apartment complex known as the White Building which today remains home to many of Cambodia’s artists, Lim Sokchanlina’s performance forecasts the fate of the architecture and its residents. The artist silently asks what forces will determine the future of the White Building in a context in which many residents regard its destruction as inevitable, or even imminent.
Pairing a conceptual and archival impulse, Lim Sokchanlina’s (b. Prey Veng) practice in photography, video, and installation calls attention to social, cultural, economic and environmental change. His recent works in performance and video approach similar themes through fantastical landscapes requiring laborious processes. Recent exhibitions include Urban Street Night Club, Art Stage Singapore (2014), Wrapped Future (Triangle Park), Brooklyn, NYC (2013), and Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, ifa, Berlin (2013). He is a founding member of the artist collective Stiev Selapak.
Anica Yoeu Ali, Spiral Cyclo (2012), is part of Anida Yoeu Ali’s ongoing The Buddhist Bug Project, Spiral Cyclo seeks to map a new spiritual and social landscape through its surreal existence amongst ordinary people and everyday environments. The Bug is fantastical saffron-colored creature conceived as an autobiography exploration of identity, especially spiritual turmoil between Islam and Buddhism. In a typical neighbourhood alley new Phnom Penh’s Central Market, an unlikely visitor dropped off by a cyclo driver provokes questions around belonging and displacement
Anida Yoeu Ali (b. Cambodia) is an artist whose works span performance, installation, video, poetry, public encounters and political agitation. She is a first generation Muslim Khmer woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. Her works investigate the artistic, spiritual and political collisions of a hybrid transitional identity. Ali recently participated in the 5th Fukuoko Asian Art Triennale (2014).
Leang Seckon, Goodbye Boeung Kak (2010, 2014). Once a longtime resident at the former lake Boeung Kak, artist Leang Seckon choreographed and recorded a performance shortly before eviction from his home in 2010. Goodbye Boeung Kak documents the artist’s critique of the sand in-filling at the lake by staging a Khmer funerary ritual. As a group of fishermen attempt to rescue a ceremonial flag adorned with symbolic scales, they discover it dead and immediately proceed to dress themselves, the flag and the soon-toperish home in white. After enacting a calling of the souls with ritual objects including the popil and candles, they hold a cremation ceremony at sunset atop another in-filled site.
Leang Seckon (b. Prey Veng) works in collage, sculpture, installation and video exploring past and present myths and histories specific to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Recent exhibitions include Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, Berlin and Stuttgart (2013), Kathmandu International Art Festival (2012) Reactivation, Shanghai Biennial (2012), and Heavy Skirt, Rossi and Rossi, London (2010).
Sok Chanrado, Memory (2012), reverses footage of his childhood friend Rada who is reciting memories from the site of their former home known as “Small Building”. The building was originally used as a practice venue for traditional folk dance and music in the 1960s before its residents were evicted during the Khmer Rouge era. Resettled by many families following the war, including those of Rado and Rada, Small Building was forcibly emptied again in 2009 during the Dey Krahom evictions.
Sok Chanrado (b. Phnom Penh) is interested in the role of media and its influence on public opinion in relation to concepts of freedom and transparency. He currently studies art Sa Sa Art Projects, and Media and Communication at Pannasastra University, Phnom Penh. His group exhibitions include The White Building and the City, The Packer Collegiate Institute Carol Shen Gallery, New York (2013), The White Night and Cambodian Youth Art Festival’s Snit Snaal, both 2012 at Sa Sa Art Projects, Phnom Penh.
Tith Kanitha, Heavy Sand (2012), is a film of a performance event title Reclamation Recreation: An Urban Beach Party, where artist Tith Kanitha staged diurnal ritual: a shower as is taken in a humble household, manually, with buckets of water. Her only covering was a bikini and a clinical facemask normally associated with protection from pollution but also more recently used to conceal protestors’ identities. At the time a resident of Boeung Kak lakeside, Tith’s performance brings to bear aspects of life experienced there since 2008, where people risked their lives to protest evictions; women and children at the front lines.
Tith Kanitha works across a range of media, including sculpture, installatio and performance. In 2013, Tith was a resident at Transparent Studios, Bose Pacia, New York, and exhibited in Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, Berlin and Stuttgart.
Svay Sareth, Mon Boulet (2011), documents a 5-day durational performance in which the artist dragged a cumbersome reflective metal sphere 250 kilometers from the ancient capital of Angkor to the present capital Phnom Penh, carrying with him a few basic amenities known to refugees worldwide. The public aspect of Sisyphean futility was intended to confront conditions of the artist’s and ‘audiences’ pasts as a cathartic move into the future. In the artist’s words, “The heart is marked forever by the atrocities of the war. The mind – the seat of the body’s creative power – is a force of alchemy able to transform the difficulty, the fear, the suffering, the discouragement, into energy and creative freedom. And the body, finally, is used for resistance.”
Having lived through three violent regimes, Svay Sareth’s (b. Battambang) practices in sculpture and performance reference the experience of the refugee and survivor through acts of adventure and futility. Svay co-founded Phare Ponlue Selpak, an art school in Battambang, and holds an MFA, Caen (2009). Recent exhibitions include If The World Changed, 4th Singapore Biennale, Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology, ifa, Berlin and Stuttgart (2013), and Traffic Circle, SA SA BASSAC (2012).
Visual Snow (2014) is an important installment in Shubigi Rao’s ongoing biographical study of S. Raoul1, which, for the first time, will examine his work in the context of the disappearing film.
Shubigi Rao lives and works in Singapore. As an artist and writer, her interests range from archeology, neuroscience, libraries and books, cultural histories and contemporary art theory, to natural histories and environmental issues. Recent publications include History’s Malcontents: The Life and Times of S. Raoul, (2013), part biography, part reconstruction of the life and times of the erstwhile scientist, theorist, archeologist and scapegoat S. Raoul.
1 S. Raoul acted as if the world needed obscure scholarship, freed from economic and nationalist imperatives, liberated from any agenda save that of furthering said scholarship, a form of quiet activism that has numerous historical precedents and antecedents. S. Raoul was also a mentor and patron of sorts to the younger Rao, who eventually became his biographer.
6 Apr 2014, Sun 6:00pm - 6:30pm
T H E P A R A D I S E (L O S T)
3 positions becoming towards full catastrophe living = state of body (lost)
T O D I S A P P E A R : C O V E R : T R A N S F O R M A B S E N C E + L O S S
Three state of body lost
L O S T B O D Y
W O R K I N G S
B E T W E E N S K Y A N D E A R T H
Nigel Rolfe lives and works in Dublin, Ireland. He has most recently performed and featured in Performance Art Festivals, in galleries and museums in many countries. Nigel Rolfe is recognized as a seminal figure in performance art and has been active as an Action Artist since 1969. Since 2008 live working has become once again in his primary form. He is a senior course tutor in Fine Art (Perfomance) at the Royal College of Art, London.
6 Apr 2014, Sun 2:00pm - 9:00pm
I feel their pane (2014) is a performance that operates on a personal, conversational scale for the duration of The Disappearance. The artist will circulate throughout the exhibition space and through the audience, inviting their involvement. The works brings together ideas around transparency, speculation and the format of the joke.
Sonya Lacey lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand. Her work is guided by online conventions and communities, with a particular interest in the mechanisms of online publication and distribution. Lacey’s works range from performances to sculpture, image-making and curatorial practices. She recentely undertook residencies at The Banff Centre, Canada and at Seoul Art Space, South Korea.
Attention has been given to everything but the event. Conditions, such as planning, theory, negotiation, framework, lead to the definition of context while intended results become an afterthought. To highlight this particular issue, Planting Rice brought together a series of works addressing everything else but the end point. For this screening programme, the event and the absent end are the means of inquiry. In the selection of video works by Filipino artists, Planting Rice brings to the fore questions involved in Philippine contemporary art practice that opens up to further queries on the global and the local.
Planting Rice is the curatorial banner of Manila-based Lian Ladia and Sidd Perez.
Shireen Seno, Fine Times (2011), is the artist’s guerilla documentation of a site-specific project in an exhibition site. The video explores the relationship of viewership and authorship, with the exhibiting subject in focus being ephemeral in nature.
Shireen Seno is a filmmaker and photographer currently based in Manila, Philippines. Her first feature-length film, Big boy, has been shown at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Hors Pistes Tokyo and in other venues in South Korea, Europe and the United States.
Mark Salvatus, Haiku (2012), transforms the artist’s collection of graffiti tags photographed from his residency stints in Japan, New York, Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines into poetic configurations of what seems to be a universal code.
Mark Salvatus lives and works in Manila and Lucban, Philippines. His works are products of a foray to view the world in equivalent terms through the language of contemporary urban culture. Salvatus is the recipient of the 13 Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Sovereign-Schoeni Art Prize in Hong Kong, the Ateneo Art Awards.
Yason Banal, Untitled / again (Marienbad) (2008-2010), is a film-performance-installation inspired by Alain Resnais’ seminal film Last Year at Marienbad (1961). Yason Banal forms a contemporary constellation around etiquette, modernity and desire by transporting “Marienbad” to different sites (Manila, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, San Francisco, Berlin, London), inhabited by human figurines, sculptural garments, gallery artifacts and exhibition attendees.
Yason Banal lives and works in Manila, Philippines. His practice moves between installation, photography, video, performance, text, curating and pedagogy, taking myriad forms and conceptual strategies. His works have been exhibited at The Cultural Center of the Philippines; Metropolitan Museum of Manila and Lopez Museum; Tate Modern; Guangzhou Triennale among others.
Juan Alcazaren, Cube descending staircase (2010), is turned into an object travelling within the exhibition site. The animation video work refers to the seminal Duchamp work by means of stop-motion in providing a recall to the discourse on spatial continuity and constructs that art objects succeed to in their exhibiting sites.
Juan Alcazaren lives and works in Pasig City, Philippines. He is an animator and the director of Alcazaren Bros. Production from 1989 and has received the Artists Award in 2000. Alcazaren’s sculptural practice has been featured in solo exhibitions since 1992 in the Philippines.
Gaston Damag, Nature Culture (2009), addresses the gestures the artist takes in deconstructing the relationship of exhibiting sites and the main aspect of his practice – the wooden anthromorphic figure “bulul”: guardians of rice and objects of ritual and territorial indication.
Gaston Damag lives and works in Paris. His practice is defined by fusing ethnographic symbols of his material culture in the Cordillera region in the Northern Philippines. Damag’s word has been featured in major exhibitions such as the Thessaloniki Biennale in Greece, the Dexia Banque Internationale, Luxemborg, Miam Museum in Sete and Topaz Arts Center in New York.
The Margins of Exhibition is a selection of artist-made videos gathered in response to the curatorial proposition of The Disappearance. The programme displaces our focus from the main game – the artwork, the exhibition or in cinema, the pro-filmic or a feature presentation – in favour of what is peripheral. Neither inside nor outside, there is much more to the frame than meets the eye.
Anthea Behm, Adorno / Bueller (2011), is based around two scripts: one adapted from Frankfurt School Philosopher Theodor Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory (1970), and the other from John Hughes’ Hollywood movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). Filmed on location in the Art Institute of Chicago, the video stages a dynamic encounter between both texts via a series of performances that presents and merges the two scripts. Simultaneously dramatizing and destabilizing the categories that continue to inform our conceptions of social, cultural and artistic production, the video formally manifests the contradictions embedded in such categorical divisions, and the possible ways in which they are necessarily maintained or dissolved. The resulting critical intervention into the accepted ‘sense’ of each text is at once confounding yet clarifying.
Anthea Behm is an Australian artist whose work has been exhibited at the Dedalus Foundation, New York; the Dallas Contemporary, Dallas; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki.
Sherman Ong, Tickets (2010), is a film is about cinema and the slippages between documentary and fiction. It dwells on the idea of acting/re-acting/reprising real and imaginary roles, and touches on the themes of diaspora, migration, displacement, identity and the sense of belonging.
Sherman Ong (b. Malaysia) is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer and visual artist. His practice has always centred on the human condition and our relationships with others within the larger millieu. Winner of the 2010 ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award, Sherman has premiered works in art biennales, major film festivals and museums, including the Venice, Singapore and Jakarta Biennales, Mori Art Museum Tokyo, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Centre Pompidou Paris, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Rotterdam International Film Festival among others.
Wok the Rock, Vertical Horizon (2010), “takes an observational stance to webcam aesthetics, abiding by the peculiar durée of networked video, at once domestic and, in its formatting of the act of viewing, social or even viral. The work is a reference to an amateur porn video made by an Indonesian rock star (Ariel, frontman of the band Peterpan) on his cell phone, starring himself and a TV soap starlet named Cut Tari. Everyone you meet in Indonesia has seen this video, distinctive for its 90-degree orientation, and for feats of cinematographic agility on the part of its actor-director. Ariel got three years in prison for his efforts, under a new and highly controversial anti-pornography law. Indonesia, home to the world’s biggest Muslim population, is a progressive place in many ways, but conservatives have made gains by drumming up hysteria over modern society’s changing attitudes. Vertical Horizon offers a succinct, specular portrait of a nation undergoing rapid cultural change.” (David Teh)
Wok The Rock lives and works in Yogyakata, Indonesia. His works span across media from photography, video, graphic design, music production to the internet and digital culture. In 2002 he co-founded Ruang MES 56, a contemporary photography collective. He is an active player in underground music scene in Yogyakarta; producing music with local artists, running a net label Yes No Wave Music, curating music gigs in Yes No Klub and writing for Free Music Archive and Xeroxed.
Emile Zile, Western Digital (2013), is the result of a series of recorded interviews and shot video-s with Buddhist monks, tourist photographers and locals in Laos. These recordings turned into an observational documentary looking at the morning ritual Tak Bat, in which Buddhist monks receive offerings of food from locals. This has become a well-known tourist attraction. The work observes the interaction between the various stakeholders. The giving of rice. The taking of photographs. The Buddhist principles of mindfulness and attempting to transcend time and the photographer’s impulse to embalm the moment.
Emile Zile is an artist, filmmaker and performer currently based in Melbourne, Australia. In 2012 he began a two year studio residency at the Rjksakademie van beldeende kunsten, Amsterdam. Recent exhibitions, screenings and performances include National Gallery of Victoria Australia, ICA London, Fargfabriken Stockholm, MCA Sydney, Rojo Nova Sao Paulo Brazil, International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Nitipong Thinthubthai, Chai wan ni (now showing) (2009), “For many villagers in Thailand’s far northeast, the cinema is still mobile. At its fringes, the networks of the Spectacle are yet to displace the rhythms of the Festival. Nitipong’s chai wan ni offers a sentimental glimpse of the rich and enduring traditions onto which the moving image has been grafted in Southeast Asia.” (David Teh)
Nitipong Thinthubthai lives in Bangkok. After graduating from the Saowapa School of Art and the Pohchang Academy of Arts, he began working as prop assistant for commercials and films. He joined the Kick the Machine film company and became the prop master for many of Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s films. Several of his own short films were shown in international film festivals including Rotterdam, New York and Hamburg.