Artistic Discourse Beyond the Market

27 January 2019

"The Village" at S.E.A. Focus
Gillman Barracks, Block 7, Lock Road S108935

3.00 pm – 4.00 pm

General admission tickets permit entry to all the talks.

With Stephanie Burt, Ho Tzu Nyen and Philippe Pirotte

This conversation brings together individuals who juggle multiple roles while navigating their ways through the art world, education systems and the ever-present art market, in their practice. While S.E.A. Focus strives to be a facilitator of both the educational and market economy by fostering appreciation, knowledge and demand for Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art, it is still reliant on the model of the art fair to do so. It is strange that during almost any conversation about art, the global art market often appears as some kind of final arbiter on artistic matters. Paradoxically, art history is still required as some guarantee in the discourse of the art market.

How is the neoliberal economy transforming the art market and the role of the artist? Is market success able to generate cultural relevance in the long term? Are collectors’ opinions more influential than those of critics? Or does the art market yearn to produce and co-opt symbolic meaning for which art history and art criticism are still decisively responsible? Apart from the market price, any work of art indeed has a symbolic value, which cannot be completely monetised. Does this surplus value, created by artists, critics, curators and educators, stop the realm of the aesthetic from being completely devoured by economy?

About the Speakers

Stephanie Jane Burt (b. 1988) is an artist whose practice spans from sculptural installations to fictional prose. She completed her studies at Glasgow School of Art where she received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Painting in 2012 and her Master of Fine Arts in 2014. Her work invites the viewer to explore dialogues between her installations and their settings through a fictional narrative at times referencing film and literature. She is currently invested in feminist readings of mother-daughter relations, dynamics of female friendships and the analysis and representation of Girl culture. Recent exhibitions include: The Republic of Dreams, Mizuma Gallery, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 2016; A Frangipani for Her Grave Thoughts, Ikkan Art International Gallery, Singapore 2016; State of Motion, Asian Film Archive Singapore, Singapore 2016; A Public Living Room, People’s Park Complex Singapore 2016; Multiples, The Art Space at Suntec City, Singapore 2015; Wolf, Sister, Hidden Treasure, Mason Gross School of Arts, New Jersey, USA 2015; Potong Ice-Cream $2, Latent Spaces at Art Stage Singapore 2015; Janus, 87 Saltmarket, Glasgow 2015.

Ho Tzu Nyen was born in Singapore in 1976. He earned a BA in Creative Arts from Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne (2001), and an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore (2007). He works primarily in film, video, and performance, and has recently developed environmental multimedia installations. He has also written extensively on art. Ho appropriates the structures of epic myths, invoking their grandeur while revealing them to be not merely stories, but discursive tools. Ho has had solo exhibitions at Substation Gallery, Singapore (2003); Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide (2010); Artspace, Sydney (2011); and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012). He also represented Singapore at the 54th Venice Biennale (2011). Important group exhibitions includeAutonomous Zones, Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2013); Surplus Authors, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2012); transmediale.11, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2011); Asia Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (2009); and Singapore Biennial (2006).

Born in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1972, Philippe Pirotte is an art historian and curator. He is the Dean of the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Städelschule and Director of Portikus in Frankfurt am Main. Next to that he serves as Adjunct Senior Curator at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and as visiting professor at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He is a member of the selection committee to find the artistic director of Documenta15. In 1999, he co-founded the Antwerp contemporary art center objectif-exhibitions, and from 2005-2011 he was director of Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland. From 2004 to 2013, Pirotte held the position of Senior Advisor at the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam. He was curator of the 2016 edition of La Biennale de Montréal, entitled Le Grand Balcon, and in 2017 was member of the curatorial team of the Jakarta Biennale. Pirotte prepares an exhibition for CCA Singapore, opening March 23rd, entitled “Arus Balik – From below the wind to above the wind and back again”