Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II


Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II

21 September - 6 November 2018

Stagings. Soundings. Readings. employs an open, multidisciplinary structure that challenges traditional modes of presentation and re-presentation through a range of artistic practices and formats.

Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II reviews the performative format that marked NTU CCA Singapore’s inauguration in 2013. Free Jazz 2013 was a series of talks and performances where participants of various disciplines were invited to imagine and envision a new institution and its potential. On its five-year anniversary, the Centre continues advocating for free spaces, celebrating the practice of improvisation, as well as of collective and performative approaches. Discussing ethical values with an expanded sense of community, territorial, and environmental concerns, Stagings. Soundings. Readings. employs an open, multidisciplinary structure that challenges traditional modes of presentation and re-presentation through a range of artistic practices and formats.

Situated within a complex and contemporary understanding of the Centre’s current overarching research topic CLIMATES. HABITATS. ENVIRONMENTS., the featured works link theory and practice, emphasising collectiveness. Today, the planet is witnessing a moment of unprecedented loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and cultural transformations. In the face of such agitated times juxtaposed with advanced communicative tools, contemporary social and environmental issues require responses from a collective body, through establishing processes of instigation, negotiation, and collaboration.

Can we learn from what we see as opposed to being merely seduced by images, becoming active participants instead of only passive observers? Stagings. Soundings. Readings. is an enactment between the artists and the audience. The invited artists engage with a less prescribed environment, reflecting on history, collective action, and human interaction.

Located outside the Centre, Maria Loboda‘s sculptural installation is grounded in historical narratives as a reminder that things can change and be taken down overnight, especially by the invisible mechanisms of power. In the Centre’s foyer, Tyler Coburn addresses forms of labour and examines the notion of writing in the 21st century by engaging with complexities of our legal, technological, and geopolitical networks, while Heman Chong analyses motifs of exchange and its boundaries, embracing the space of inter-human connections.

Unfolding in the exhibition space, Cally Spooner brings to Singapore an exercise in building new vocabulary and knowledge through bodily means. Using the space as a laboratory, the work investigates new ways of organising and working together. Alexandra Pirici’s choreography explores the possibility of collectively assembling memories of human and non-human presence on the planet. Carlos Casas presents his long-term multi-format ethnographic research based on the human ecology and richness of one of the world’s highest inhabited villages, Hichigh, located in the Pamir mountain range in Tajikistan. Together with composer Phill Niblock, they will create an audio-visual experience, traversing landscape, soundscape, and contemporary music that changes with every iteration.

In response to the five-year anniversary and by taking the topic of its celebration Free Jazz literally, Ming Wong will stage an improvisational performance. Similarly, Boris Nieslony (Germany), Co-founder of the artist collective Black Market International, will engage with pioneering Singaporean artist Lee Wen with a discussion and performance.

Further probing conventional formats, the accompanying programmes include readings by curator Anca Rujoiu (Romania/Singapore) and poets Peter Sipeli and 1angrynative (both Fiji), as well as Behind the Scenes conversations with contributing artists. In The Single Screen, works by Anton Ginzburg (Russia/United States), Mariana Silva (Portugal/United States), Luke Fowler (United Kingdom), Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra (both Philippines/Australia), and others, will add a filmic perspective to the dialogue.

This multitude of celebratory events instigates an active engagement with the now, following a conscious desire to become truly present.

Curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, and Magdalena Magiera, Curator, Outreach and Education, NTU CCA Singapore.

Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II public programmes