12 February to 13 April 2018
Working across video, sound, and installation, Martha Atienza (b. 1981, Philippines) explores a wide range of physical, sociological, and emotional connections with water focusing on the environment as well as the communities of her hometown Bantayan Island, situated in the northwestern end of Cebu. These observations have culminated into immersive installations and socially engaged projects that delve into economic, social, and environmental issues tackling the notion of vulnerability while also questioning the role of art as a tool for change. Recent exhibitions include Singapore Biennale (2016); Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland, Australia (2016); Sharjah Biennale, United Arab Emirates (2013). She was most recently the recipient of the 19th Baloise Art Prize at Art Basel Statement 2017.
Born into a family of seafarers, Martha Atienza’s fascination with the maritime is nurtured by her deep-seated connection with the water and modes of living that unfold at sea. During the residency, Atienza aims to explore Singapore’s relationship with water and its geopolitical role in shaping connections and contrasts with neighboring countries. Using the studio as a space for experimentation, she will also further develop her methods of working with water.
Can art trigger empowerment? Can collective action efficiently tackle social, economic, and environmental issues? Is it possible to constitute a shared platform across different communities to address common challenges? How to position community-based practices within the context of the art world? These and other questions have been lingering in the mind of Martha Atienza during her long-time engagement with the local communities of Bantayan Island, her hometown in the Philippines. Many of her projects since 2010 aim to raise awareness, create connections, and trigger collective actions to identify the needs of the islanders and work towards sustainable solutions to social, economic, and environmental issues. Held at the end of her residency, this talk allows Atienza to discuss her artistic process and working methodologies as well as to share her thoughts on recent experiences and preoccupations.