Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy. —Exhibitions |  NTU CCA Singapore
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NTU CCA Singapore Exhibitions is focused on contemporary artistic production that provides a critical platform for reflection and discussion. The exhibition programme embraces artistic production in all its diverse media with a commitment to current debates in visual culture. NTU CCA Singapore presents up to four exhibitions a year ranging in format from group to solo shows giving voice to a diversity of international artists. Each exhibition is accompanied by an extensive public programme of tours, talks and workshops that foster reflections on the exhibition from various perspectives and disciplines.

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Siah Armajani:
Spaces for the Public.
Spaces for Democracy.

20 July 2019 — 3 November 2019

Opening reception: Friday, 19 July 2019, 7.00 – 9.00pm

Guest of Honour: Professor Chua Beng Huat, Yale-NUS College and Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore

 

Considered a leading figure in public art, Iranian-born artist Siah Armajani merges architecture and conceptual art in his sculptures, drawings, and public installations. Informed by democratic ideologies and inspired by American vernacular architecture, his works include gathering spaces for communality, emphasizing the “nobility of usefulness.” His highly acclaimed public art and architectural projects have included bridges, gardens, and outdoor structures, that have been commissioned and presented worldwide. A retrospective featuring his artistic career spanning over more than five decades was recently on view at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and inaugurates in March at The MET Breuer, New York.

Taking centre stage in the exhibition, the large-scale installation Sacco & Vanzetti Reading Room #3 (1988) will unfold along its several comprising elements, such as two rooms, tables, chairs, and racks with books, magazines, and pencils noticeably arranged like spikes. The Reading Room is designed as a functional and inviting space for the visitors of the exhibition to use. The books populating the space are by or about the poets, philosophers, and political activists Armajani has dedicated different works to, many from his Tomb series. Initiated by Armajani in 1972, the Tomb series include drawings and models, of which seven are also on view in the exhibition.

The list of authors includes: Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, John Berryman, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Dewey, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Luigi Galleani, Emma Goldman, Hafez, Martin Heidegger, Thomas Jefferson, Frank O’Hara, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Rimbaud, Richard Rorty, Sacco and Vanzetti, Ahmad Shamlou, Henry David Thoreau, Alfred North Whitehead, Walt Whitman, and Nima Yooshij.

 

READING GROUPS

NTU CCA Singapore has selected books by and about the philosophers, poets, and political activists that Siah Armajani has dedicated works to, as part of the installation, which is designed for use by the visiting public as a functional and inviting space. Throughout the exhibition period, the installation will host reading groups or other events that respond to the displayed books.

OPEN CALL

In addition, NTU CCA Singapore is seeking interested individuals, groups, or organisations to engage with the artist’s works. The Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3 is available to be used for readings, gatherings, discussions, workshops, or other events. Interested parties can appropriate the installation and exhibition space, including the books accompanying the installation, and respond to the exhibition and its title, the artist and the work, or related topics.

To find out more about the Open Call and register for the Reading Groups, please click here.

 

Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy. is curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

The exhibition is made possible by generous loans from the MMK Museum for Modern Art, Frankfurt, and Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong.

Special thank you to Susanne Pfeffer, Director, and Mario Kramer, Head of Collection, MMK, as well as Fabio Rossi and Josie Browne, project liaison.

With gratitude to Siah Armajani and Barbara Armajani.

 

Image caption: Siah Armajani, Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3, 1988. Installation view of the exhibition Siah Armajani: Follow This Line, Walker Art Center, September 9 – December 30, 2018. Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photo by Bobby Rogers. 

Public programmes

Film Programme: Resonating Structures
18 Jul 2019, Thu - 17 Nov 2019, Sun 12:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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In the early 1970s, Siah Armajani’s experimentation with computer-based graphics paved the way not only for a new aesthetic field, but also expanded his artistic practice to new territories. Taking his film work on the exploration of structures and lines using computer graphics as a point of departure, this film series expands into a presentation of films by other filmmakers/ artists in a similar theme of “line structure” and three others of Armajani’s tropes of interests: bridges, houses, and gardens. (Links at bottom for more information.) Just as Armajani’s Dictionary for Building (1974–75) deconstructs the typology of domestic architecture, these films explore new meanings of functional, social, and visual concepts of architecture and space.

 

Event, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 6 min 41 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

To Perceive 10,000 Different Squares in 6 Minutes and 55 Seconds, 1970 
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 7 min 37 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

Before/After, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 1 min 50 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

Inside/Outside, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 1 min 40 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

Rotating Line, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 1 min 26 sec.
Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

 

Line, 1970
Computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 1 min 16 sec.
Courtesy of the artist and Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong.

 

Since the 1960s, Siah Armajani has explored the use of technology as a medium as well as in the intersection of art with science. In 1970, he produced a series of experimental films using a computer capable of printing on 16mm celluloid at the Hybrid Computer Laboratory, University of Minnesota. In these films he generated moving lines and shapes using mathematical formulae and computer programming to create the illusion of three-dimensional space and time on one-dimensional surfaces that ultimately point to the functionalism of space, a consistent thread in Armajani’s work.

 

Event is an explicit example of such a connection as it brings together the notions of architecture’s social space through texts, equations, and diagrams. To Perceive 10,000 Different Squares in 6 Minutes and 55 Seconds presents ten thousand squares, each in a single frame in descending order of size; with the illusion of a single square hovering in space.Before/After suggests spatial and temporal ambiguity, depicted by two synchronised animated representations of movements over time. Inside/Outside explores the function of boundaries and the concept of closed and open systems in a space. Rotating Line illustrates the blurring of dimensional states within a space through the transition of a single point into a line that subsequently appears to rotate in and out of the screen. In Line, Armajani reflects upon the inadequacy of painting and sculpture in expressing ideas through the most basic aesthetic form.

 

These six films will be played on loop during opening hours from 18 July to 17 November, 2019. During this time, a presentation of films by other filmmakers/ artists, grouped according to the themes Line Structure, Bridges, Houses, and Gardens, will also be shown in conjunction with Siah Armajani’s films. For more information on film schedule, please visit the links below.

 

Image caption: Siah Armajani, Event, 1970, computer-generated 16mm film transferred to digital file, b&w, silent, 6 min 41 sec. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2015.

Talk: Siah Armajani: Follow This Line
20 Jul 2019, Sat 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM

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By Victoria Sung, Assistant Curator of Visual Arts, Walker Art Center.

Following the major retrospective of Siah Armajani’s six-decade-long career held at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Met Breuer, New York, co-curator Victoria Sung will expand on Armajani’s practice and public art commissions. Sung will focus on the artist’s Reading Rooms, particularly the one included in the exhibition, Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3, and think through the role of museums as public and educational spaces.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Victoria Sung (United States) is Assistant Curator of Visual Arts at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, where she co-curated Siah Armajani: Follow This Line (2018), the artist’s first major retrospective in the United States, and co-edited the accompanying catalogue. The exhibition travelled to the Met Breuer, New York. Recent projects include Theaster Gates: Assembly Line(2019); Laure Prouvost: They Are Waiting for You(2017); and Katharina Fritsch: Multiples(2017). She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard College, a master’s degree in history of art and visual culture from the University of Oxford, and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.

 

Image Caption: Siah Armajani, Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3, 1988. Installation view of the exhibition Siah Armajani: Follow This Line, Walker Art Center, September 9 – December 30, 2018. Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photo by Bobby Rogers.

 

http://ntu.ccasingapore.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/NTU-CCA-Siah-Armajani-Exhibition-Guide.pdf

Open Call for Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy.
20 Jul 2019, Sat - 3 Nov 2019, Sun

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As part of Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy., NTU CCA Singapore is seeking interested individuals, groups, or organisations to engage with the artist’s works. The Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3 is available to be used for readings, gatherings, discussions, workshops, or other events. Interested parties can appropriate the installation and exhibition space, including the books accompanying the installation, and respond to the exhibition and its title, the artist and the work, or related topics.

The list of authors of the books includes: Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, John Berryman, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Dewey, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Luigi Galleani, Emma Goldman, Hafez, Martin Heidegger, Thomas Jefferson, Frank O’Hara, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Rimbaud, Richard Rorty, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Ahmad Shamlou, Henry David Thoreau, Alfred North Whitehead, Walt Whitman, and Nima Yooshij.

Interested groups are welcome to invite their own audience or to organise events. However, all inhabitations have to happen within the parameters of a public exhibition space.

The exhibition opening hours are Tuesday – Sunday, 12.00 – 7.00pm, but inhabitations may take place during the available timings below:

Monday to Friday, 10.00am – 7.00pm

Saturday and Sunday, 12.00 – 7.00pm

 

If you would like more information, have any questions, or are interested in using the space, please email NTUCCAExhibitions@ntu.edu.sg with the following:

– A description of your planned activity (100–150 words)

– Biography of facilitator or host (100 words)

– Preferred date(s) (and timings, if possible. Activities can be repeated if desired)

– Expected duration of planned activity (if possible)

– Expected profile and number of participants (if possible)

– Please also indicate if you need any equipment that we may be able to provide (e.g. chairs or audio equipment)

 

*Submissions will be reviewed and scheduled on a rolling basis.

 

**Please note this open call is not a commission for a work or an engagement of services and therefore no fees are offered.

 

Image caption: Siah Armajani, Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3, 1988. Installation view of the exhibition Siah Armajani: Follow This Line, Walker Art Center, September 9 – December 30, 2018. Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photo by Bobby Rogers.

Tour: Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy.
20 Jul 2019, Sat 03:00 PM - 03:30 PM

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On the first day of exhibition Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy., curator Ute Meta Bauer will be giving a guided tour from 3.00 – 3.30pm

Following the tour, from 3.30 – 5.00pm, Victoria Sung, co-curator of Siah Armajani’s major retrospective shown at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Met Breuer, New York, will expand on Armajani’s practice in her talk Siah Armajani: Follow This Line. Sung will focus on the artist’s Reading Rooms, particularly the one included in the exhibition, Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3, and think through the role of museums as public and educational spaces.

 

More information can be found in the links below.

 

Talk: Resonating Structures – Siah Armajani’s Film Works and other Artist Films
13 Aug 2019, Tue 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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In this talk Marc Glöde will discuss the role of the filmic medium in Siah Armajani’s artistic practice and how the artist’s experimentation with computer-based graphics in the early 1970s not only expanded his practice in relation to public space and architecture to new territory, but also paved the way for a new aesthetic field. Using Armajani’s experimental films on line structures as a point of departure, Dr Glöde will also cover films by preeminent artists/filmmakers presented in the film programme that accompanies the exhibition, as well as those beyond, who produced important films relating to Armajani’s other tropes of interest: bridges, houses, and gardens.

 

Marc Glöde(Germany/Singapore) is a curator, critic, and film scholar, and currently Assistant Professor at the School of Art, Media and Design, NTU. His work focuses on the relation of images, technology, space, and the body, as well as that between fields of art, architecture, and film. Glöde received his PhD at the Free University in Berlin where he also taught. Additionally he has taught at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden, Academy of Fine Arts Berlin, and the ETH Zürich. He was senior curator of Art Basel’s film programme (2008–14) and curator/senior advisor of the abc Berlin (2010–12).

Workshop: Why intervene at all? by Lin Shiyun, Creative Director, 3Pumpkins (Singapore)
24 Aug 2019, Sat 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM

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Registration required via Peatix: whyintervene.peatix.com

Fee: $12

Developed for all ages.

 

When, why, and how do artists play a role in the community?

While neighbourhoods in Singapore may appear homogenous, each local community faces a unique set of issues due to its distinct social demographics. There is no fixed formula for creative intervention that conveniently applies to all. In this workshop, Lin Shiyun will share her practice in community engagement and development projects, carried out in public spaces,as a constant search for answers to understand and reorganise social patterns. Through case studies, participants will attempt to unravel the purpose and examine various methods of creative intervention in communities, and question if such intervention is necessary at all.

Note: No prior experience in community engagement and development is needed to attend this workshop.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Lin Shiyun (Singapore) is the Creative Director of 3Pumpkins, an arts company rooted in activating and connecting communities as both creators and audiences of arts. The company’s flagship social practice Let’s Go Play Outside!is focused on developing resilience in local communities through long-term engagement with children at the neighbourhood playgrounds. Since 2012, Lin has been commissioned by public and private institutions to produce multi-disciplinary participatory programmes. Her most recent works are Our Time Togetherexploring children’s experiences in grief and loss, and outdoor giant puppet show The Rubbish Prince. She is currently working with Tzu Chi Foundation (Singapore) on designing a comprehensive arts programme targeted at youth and community participation.

 

Image caption: Children and facilitators goofing at the neighbourhood playground, a locus of public interaction activated in social practice Let’s Go PLay OutSide!, 2017. Courtesy Lin Shiyun.

Workshop: “Bridge” as a Metaphor for Connectivity and Dis-connectivity by artists Chiew Sien Kuan and Joey.Spl
14 Sep 2019, Sat 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM

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Registration required via Peatix: buildingbridges.peatix.com

Fee: $12

 

In this workshop, you will have hands-on experience in making simple light circuits and building small wood assemblage bridges. Through these works, you will create a narrative of bridging a connection and learn simple lighting mechanismsto emphasise the idea of connectivity and dis-connectivity.

 

BIOGRAPHIES

Chiew Sien Kuan‘s (Singapore) work is preoccupied with issues of environmentalism, renewal, loss of urban spaces, economic progress, and technological development that have inevitably influenced and changed people’s sense of reality. 

Joey.Spl (Singapore) is an artist who creates interactive installations about mindful awareness as inquiry towards an optimal sense of self. Her works combine whimsical ephemerality with sensibility of electronical mechanisms. She has been preoccupied with and compassed by the research and development of the Mind-Brain-Body interaction throughout her practice.

 

Image caption: Chiew Sien Kuan, The Hiding Place, 2019, mixed media, Woodlands Waterfront Park. Courtesy the artist.

Exhibition (de)Tour: Landscape Design, Hybridity, and Public Art by Dr Colin Okashimo
1 Oct 2019, Tue 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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Over the last two decades, Dr Colin Okashimo has sought to fuse art and landscape architecture as well as sculpture and design through a strong research narrative that highlights the unique aspects of each location. Incorporating sculptural works into his landscape designs, Okashimo creates environments that are inspired by the research of the place’s culture, history, and society. In this talk, he will reflect on the potentiality of sculpture and public art in transforming a space into a place-specific environment offering meaning and memory.

BIOGRAPHY

Dr Colin Okashimo (Canada) is a sculptor, landscape architect, and master planner. Of Japanese descent, Dr Okashimo was born and raised in Canada, where he graduated in landscape architecture at the University of Guelph in 1982. He moved to Singapore and established his own practice in 1996. He has designed intriguing landscapes for hospitality and residential projects across Asia. His PhD thesis is titled Art as Contemplative Place with Reference to the Sited Works of Isamu Noguchi(London’s University of Arts, 2007), and he has published a book titled Provoking Calm: The Artworks of Colin K. Okashimo.He was awarded the Singapore President’s Designer of the Year Award in 2015.

www.okashimo-art.com

In Conversation: Curating the City: Golden Walls and Pink Dots
10 Oct 2019, Thu 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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by Sophie Goltz, Deputy Director, Research & Academic Programmes, NTU CCA Singapore, and Assistant Professor, NTU ADM, and Regina De Rozario (Singapore), artist and PhD Candidate, NTU ADM.

Using best practice examples from Singapore, Hamburg, and beyond, artistic and activist strategies, with which urban spaces have been appropriated as democratic forums, will be examined. In addition, the methodological question will be raised: how can regionally differently situated practices of artists and activists be described more generally as art in the public sphere? Hence, which cultural and political implications do arise for a mutual understanding of urban and public space in theory and practice today?

 

BIROGRAPHY

Sophie Goltz (Germany/Singapore) is Deputy Director, Research & Academic Programmes at NTU CCA Singapore, and Assistant Professor at the NTU School of Art, Design and Media. Goltz was the Artistic Director of Stadkuratorin Hamburg (City curator) from 2013 to 2016, and has worked as Senior Curator and Head of Communication and Public Programmes at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein between 2008 and 2013, becoming Associate Curator in 2014. Goltz worked as freelance curator and art educator for various international exhibitions, including Documenta 12 and 11 (2007 and 2002), 3rd Berlin Biennale (2004), and Project Migration (2004­–06).

Regina De Rozario’s (Singapore) artistic practice investigates how strategies of walking, mapping, and image-making can enable us to recognise and respond to notions of power and control embedded in the physical and narrative spaces we inhabit. She is also one-half of Perception3, an interdisciplinary art duo established in 2007 working with photography, video, and site-specific text installations, having been recently exhibited at iLight Singapore: bicentennial edition (2019); 3rd Biennial of montevideo, (2016); Singapore Biennale 2016; and urbanness: contemplating the city, Dubai (2015). De rozario received the national arts Council Postgraduate Scholarship in 2018, and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at NTU ADM.

Panel: The Political Agency of Art with Post-Museum
31 Oct 2019, Thu 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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In this talk, Post-Museum will discuss how the artistic medium can act as a galvanising agent to foster positive social discourse and encourage collective organisation.

 

BIOGRAPHY 

Post-Museum(Singapore) is an independent social and cultural enterprise in Singapore which was founded by Jennifer Teo and Woon Tien Wei. It aims to encourage a thinking and proactive community while serving as a hub for the development of local and international cultures. Currently nomadic, it is an open platform for examining contemporary life, promoting the arts, and connecting people. Post-Museum hosts investigative and experimental projects which respond to their location and community, such as the Bukit Brown Index(2014­–ongoing) and Really Really Free Market(2009–ongoing). They have worked alongside a wide network of social actors, cultural workers, and institutions to stimulate public engagement with ideas of identity, society, and community. Their projects have sought to bridge the seemingly distant worlds of art and activism through a diverse oeuvre of events, art exhibitions, and public interventions.

Workshop: Writing for Change by writer and educator Dr Yeo Wei Wei
2 Nov 2019, Sat 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

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Registration required via Peatix: writingforchange.peatix.com

Fee: $12

Developed for ages 17 to 22.

 

Literature and philosophy have been guiding lights for the artist Siah Armajani since young. Sharing Armajani’s conviction in reading and writing for change to the self and society, this workshop will focus on creative writing as self-communing and engagement with the world.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Dr Yeo Wei Wei (Singapore) is a writer, translator, and educator. She has 20 years of experience in teaching, and has worked with students at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Literature and Creative Writing were her areas of specialisation at SOTA, NUS, and NTU. In 2017 she graduated with Distinction in her MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) from the University of East Anglia. She was awarded the National Arts Council Postgraduate Scholarship in 2016 to pursue the MA. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Cambridge. Her collection of short stories These Foolish Things & Other Stories was published by Ethos Books in 2015.

 

Image caption: Siah Armajani, Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room #3, 1988. Installation view of the exhibition Siah Armajani: Follow This Line, Walker Art Center, September 9 – December 30, 2018. Courtesy Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Photo by Bobby Rogers.