Dr Felicia Low (Singapore) is a graduate of Goldsmiths College and has been a practising visual artist since 1999. Her projects have mostly been site-specific, performative and community-specific as she works collaboratively with different sectors of society. A Lee Kong Chien scholar of the National University of Singapore, Low obtained a PhD in Cultural Studies in Asia in 2015. Her research focused on the politics of participatory visual art practices with subaltern communities in Singapore.
Low is also the Founding Director of a not-for-profit organisation, Community Cultural Development (Singapore), which aims to provide a critical discursive platform for artistic practices that engage with communities in the region. Low is also an associate lecturer with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (BA in Art Education & Psychology/Arts Management) and teaches Anthropology at the School of the Arts, Singapore.
Since 2008, Emily Pethick (b. 1975, United Kingdom) has been Director of The Showroom, London, United Kingdom, a contemporary art space committed to collaborative and process-driven approaches to cultural production within its locality and beyond. She was previously Director of Casco, Office for Art, Design and Theory, in Utrecht, the Netherlands (2005-2008) and curator at Cubitt, London, United Kingdom (2003-2004). Pethick is currently teaching the course Curating Positions at the Dutch Art Institute, Arnhem, the Netherlands. She is also working on a research project for a new institution in Amsterdam led by Stedelijk Museum and Ammodo, both in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Pethick has contributed to numerous catalogues and magazines, including Artforum, Frieze, Afterall, and The Exhibitionist, and edited numerous publications including Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s monograph Amateur (2016), and Cluster: Dialectionary (with Binna Choi, Maria Lind and Natasa Petresin-Bachelez, 2014). Pethick is also a jury member for the 2017 Turner Prize.
Tara McDowell’s research interests include exhibition histories, contemporary curating, art institutions, feminist and queer spaces of sociability and production, alternative archives and forms of documentation, and historical and contemporary models.
While in residency at NTU CCA Singapore, McDowell aims to connect with local artists, curators, and educators to gain an awareness of the Singaporean arts communities. She is especially keen to understand how curatorial education is being developed by institutions in Singapore, what the particular needs and desires are of participants in these conversations and how connections might be made with the Curatorial PhD programme she founded in Melbourne, Australia. She will conduct research on experimental education and artistic labour, two areas of her research interests and present a public lecture in progress on the latter topic, titled Is the Post-Occupational Condition the New Post-Medium Condition?
Krist Gruijthuijsen (Netherlands/Germany) is Director of KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin and Course Director of the Master of Fine Arts Department at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. From 2012 to 2016, he was Artistic Director of the Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria. He is one of the co-founding directors of Kunstverein in Amsterdam and has organised numerous projects and exhibitions for institutions such as Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, United States (2013); Artists Space, New York, United States (2009); Manifesta 7, Trentino – South Tyrol, Italy (2008); Swiss Institute, New York, United States (2007); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (both 2006) amongst many others.
Joselina Cruz (b. 1970, PhilippineS) is the Director and Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Manila. She studied art history at the University of the Philippines, and received an M.A. in curating contemporary art from the Royal College of Art, London. Cruz has worked as a curator for the Lopez Memorial Museum in Manila (2001-04) and the Singapore Art Museum (2004–07). She was a curator for the 2nd Singapore Biennale in 2008 and one of the networking curators for the 13th Jakarta Biennale in 2009. Cruz was curator-in-charge of the Tàpies retrospective at the Singapore Art Museum (2005), co-curated All the Best: The Deutsche Bank Collection and Zaha Hadid, Singapore Art Museum (2006), and curated You Are Not a Tourist for Curating Lab, Singapore (part of the Singapore Art Show 2007) and Creative Index: An Exhibition in Manila, Philippines (2010) for the 10th Regional Anniversary of the Nippon Foundation’s Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship program. She also writes essays, reviews, criticism, and art commentary.
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.
Brooklyn Jumbies Inc. (United States), founded by Ali Sylvester and Najja Codrington, is an organisation with the purpose of heightening cultural awareness of African and African-Caribbean culture. Performing stilt dancing, one of the numerous cultural elements of the African and Caribbean diaspora, their goal is to help revive knowledge, respect, and pride in these traditions. Since 2007, the Brooklyn Jumbies have worked closely with Laura Anderson Barbata, presenting outreach projects in Mexico and the United States, also collaborating with los Zancudos de Zaachila, traditional stilt dancers from Oaxaca. With Barbata they have performed in various museums. Among their most significant performances are Intervention: Wall Street, in the Financial District of New York (2011); and Intervention: Indigo, Brooklyn, New York, and The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (2015). Publications include Transcommunality. Interventions And Collaborations With Stilt Dancing Communities (2013).
The Making of an Institution captures different moments in the development of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) connecting artistic projects, discursive manifestations, and the institutional apparatus in a seamless display. It looks back into its young past in order to shape its future. Challenging the format of an exhibition, The Making of an Institution creates a communal space where projects and research explorations by the Centre’s Artists-, Curators-in- Residence, and Research Fellows coexist with ongoing series of talks, screenings, performances, and workshops. The project engages the Centre’s main pillars–Exhibitions, Residencies, Research and Academic Education – bringing to a close the overarching curatorial narrative Place.Labour.Capital. that served as a framework for its activities since 2013.
Established in 2013, the Centre embodies the complexity of a contemporary art institution in times of knowledge economy and global art. The role of a contemporary art institution should not be limited to the presentation of art. It feeds off and nurtures the cultural ecosystem it belongs to through a complex series of actions that often reside in the realm of the immaterial. The Centre’s inaugural programme Free Jazz addressed the foundational question “What can this institution be?” highlighting the skill of improvisation and free play. Three years later, different questions are to be raised: What could the role of the NTU CCA Singapore be for the years to come within a fast changing local, regional, and global cultural landscape? What are the criteria to evaluate its achievements and impact?
In revisiting its own process of institutional building, NTU CCA Singapore appropriates the format and language of a “public report”. While a public report is conventionally employed to deliver an official written narrative, the Centre’s report unfolds in the exhibition space through the languages of the performative, the discursive, and the archival.
“It’s amazing how far we were able to come in just three years,” said Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, NTU CCA Singapore. “The Making of an Institution is a celebration of the international community we have built, including scholars, artists, and the public. Now it is time for us to reflect and analyse our achievements before the exciting next steps ahead.”
The Making of an Institution is divided into four sections borrowed from the structure of a public report: Reason to Exist: The Director’s Review; Ownership, Development, and Aspirations; Artistic Research; and Communication and Mediation. The first section, Reason to Exist: The Director’s Review maps out a network of institutions, like NTU CCA Singapore, that place research at the core of their identity. Each guest director will closely examine the vision, mission, and operative model of her respective organisation in a series of talks aimed at deepening our understanding of the changing role of contemporary cultural institutions. Ownership, Development, and Aspirations is a public panel with several members of the NTU CCA Singapore’s International Advisory Board and its stakeholders representatives that stresses the importance of feedback and exchange among peers especially in the development phase of an institution. The section dedicated to Artistic Research frames the material and immaterial aspects that constitute contemporary art practices. It takes over the Centre’s physical Spaces of the Curatorial—The Exhibition Hall, The Single Screen, The Lab, and The Vitrine—juxtaposing artworks and research projects by NTU CCA Singapore’s Artists-, Curators-in- Residence, and Research Fellows alongside various formats of public programming. Finally, Communication and Mediation explores the production of an institution’s identity through visual communication and spatial practices. Through workshops and presentations, artists, architects, and designers will discuss how they create diverse visual and spatial identities for art institutions.
The public report will culminate into a book planned for publication in mid-2017, gathering the voices of all the artists, curators, researchers, and academics who have contributed to this first phase of the Centre. The Making of an Institution is curated by Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director, Anna Lovecchio, Curator, Residencies, and Anca Rujoiu, Manager, Publications.
Koh Nguang How is an artist and independent researcher on Singaporean contemporary art. Between July 2014 and January 2015, Koh was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore. As part of his residency, he presented to the public his long-term artistic endeavour, Singapore Art Archive Project (SAAP). For more than 30 years, Koh has been documenting the local art scene, gathering an impressive collection of printed matters ranging from exhibition flyers, catalogues, newspapers, as well as photographs and audio recordings produced by the artist himself.
Rodolfo Andaur (b. 1979, Chile) has been coordinator of various contemporary art projects in northern Chile, promoting local artistic practices in relation to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Peru. He has undertaken several international curatorial residencies in Poland, Mexico, Brazil, and Germany. Andaur has also contributed to various magazines and publications such as Artishock, Atlas Magazine, and Rotunda Magazine and is currently part of the academic staff of the Diploma in Critical and Curatorial Studies at Adolfo Ibáñez University, Santiago, Chile.