Yan Jun is a musician, born in Lanzhou in 1973 and based in Beijing. His activities involve improvised music, field recordings and site-specific sound works/events. His feedback improvisation set always follows the unstable relationship between microphones, speakers, the space and his own body movement. He often plays with the environment and found objects at audiences‚ homes, along or with other artists, through the Living Room Tour project.

He is member of FEN, Tea Rockers Quintet and Impro Committee. He has performed in more than 20 countries in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia. As a poet and artist he has attended Rotterdam International Poetry Festival, Berlin International Poetry Festival and Shanghai Biennale.

Art Labor will recreate a Hammock Café serving traditional Vietnamese coffee, akin to the many itinerant roadside-resting spots of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The café will be a place for visitors to sit together, chat, rest, observe, think or simply pass time, alluding to the café culture central to Vietnamese daily life. The name Jarai Dew Hammock Café is an introduction into Art Labor’s long-term project. That takes inspiration from the Jarai people of Vietnam’s Central Highlands and their philosophy on the cycle of life. After death, humans will go through many stages to get back to their origins of existence. The final stage is that they transform into dew (ia ngôm in Jarai language) evaporating into the environment – a state of non-being – the beginning particles of a new existence.

Joan Jonas is one of the most significant video and performance artists and important female artists active in the 1960s and 1970s. She pioneered the use of the two genres in visual art and was influential also in other art forms. Incorporating different media, she presents multiple viewpoints and layers of material, texture, and meanings in her work to address current issues. In 1972, she began producing video works that were ground-breaking in emphasising the experience of the medium as a conceptual device and is known for merging various genres in her fragmented video narratives.

Eran Schaerf’s multidisciplinary work focuses on the architecture of narration. He has exhibited in group-exhibitions such as Venice Bienniale (2011), Fake or Feint (2008), Territories (2003), Manifesta (1998), Listener’s Voice, Brussels (2001), DOCUMENTA IX (1992). Among his publications are: fm-scenario – where palms stand – mask –delay, London (2012), Blue Key, Cologne (2002), Listener’s Voice, Brussels (2001), Re-enactment, New- York (1996).

Theatrical Fields introduces theatricality as a critical strategy in performance, film and video. This exhibition presents six video installations shown for the first time in Southeast Asia: Voice off by Judith Barry (USA), Suspiria by Stan Douglas (Canada), Lines in the Sand by Joan Jonas (USA), Vagabondia by Isaac Julien (UK), She Might Belong to You by Eva Meyer & Eran Schaerf (Germany / Israel), X Characters Re(hers)AL by Constanze Ruhm (Austria). Situated in juxtaposition, the works generate temporal spaces for experimental action, creating unfamiliar proximities and encounters.

Theatrical Fields was curated by Ute Meta Bauer (Founding Director) with Anca Rujoiu (Curator for Exhibitions), and was first presented and commissioned by the Bildmuseet, Umea in Sweden (2013).

As a collaboration, Bildmuseet Umea and NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore will publish a catalogue including keynotes from the symposium and additional commissioned essays.

Theatrical Fields public programmes

Bani Haykal is a musician, artist, and poet. His work lies at the intersection of political economy, music, and speculative fiction. His projects revolve around modes of interfacing and interaction, and examine the perceptions, relevance, and culture of sound and music, often materialising through collaborations with artists across all fields as a means to discover new musical forms. Between September 2014 and February 2015, Haykal was Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore, where he researched into the history and affect of the Cultural Cold War through the movement of jazz music.

Marie Menken was an underground experimental filmmaker known as “the mother of the avant-garde,” having influenced and worked with internationally renowned artists such as Andy Warhol. She progressed from painting to filmmaking in 1945, when she made her first avant-garde film using a handheld Bolex camera. Since then, she was celebrated for her intuitive, free-form cinematic style and for taking filmmaking to a new direction with the way she created poetic patterns of light, colour, and texture. Her films are fragmentary encounters with friends, landscapes, and her urban surroundings.

Shirley Clarke was an esteemed figure in the American avant-garde cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, and a pioneer of video in the 1970s. She brought a distinctive aesthetic of “choreography of images” to her work as a trained dancer and manipulated image, time, and space by applying choreographic editing and technical effects as a dramatic, expressive language. She co-founded Film-Makers Cooperative and Film-Makers Distribution Center in New York, which offered alternative distribution methods for independent filmmakers. She was also the winner of an Academy Award for her 1964 documentary film Robert Frost: A Lover’s Quarrel With the World.

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.