Chamber, The Arts House
1h, no intermission
Admission with O.P.E.N. Pass
Limited single entry tickets available at the door
While speaking is often taken as central to the exercise of power, less examined is the role of listening. Yet, if the core responsibility of the representative is to speak on behalf of those for whom he or she stands in, then surely the task must include the ability to listen. So while we claim that speech today is in crisis, we might observe that it is in fact the death of listening that is pressing upon us.
For Zou Zhao, listening, unlike hearing, is an experience of difficulty. It requires effort, persistence and the presence of others. She turns the Chamber into a rehearsal room for testing, practising and redistributing the task of representation. Further enlisting the participation of the audience, the work calls on us to reconsider what it means to assemble so as to listen.
Commissioned by Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA).
Join artists Ho Rui An, Lantian Xie and Zou Zhao as they discuss their practices and draw relations between the different contexts in which they work.
9 July, 3pm - 4.30pm, 72-13
ADMISSION with O.P.E.N. Pass
Limited single entry tickets available at the door.
For Lack Of A Better Word
Curated by Ho Rui An
For Lack Of A Better Word is a curatorial series curated by Ho Rui An, comprising of Unsettled Assignments by Sidd Perez and Vuth Lyno, The Unforgetting Space by Tan Biyun, Opening Draft by Ho Rui An, Sultan Ibrahim by Lantian Xie and On The Threshold Of Listening by Zou Zhao.
Committed to furthering the conversation with the next generation of artists, Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) has invited Ho Rui An, featured in the first SIFA 2014 edition in association with the 89+ project of Hans Ulrich Obrist, to return to the festival with his own curation centred on the enchantment of the spoken word, For Lack Of A Better Word.
In Ho’s words: “‘For lack of a better word’, we say, as the qualification we make to what comes after that may be too facile, crass or even vulgar to be uttered cold. The expression marks the moment when we provisionally simplify, only to later complexify. Engaging with this slippery ground of language, this curation series within The O.P.E.N. considers how the work of critique today likewise demands that we grasp at the limits of available idioms.”
What happens when we cannot find the right words? Are we still able to do things with words? These are questions posed by the shifting and emergent realities that characterise the complex and uncertain worlds in which we live. In response, the artists gathered in this section of The O.P.E.N. draw on their experiences in Singapore, the broader Southeast Asia region and the Gulf to show that from the lacuna also arises the possibility of speaking (and listening) otherwise.
Through a holding of a draft of air (Ho Rui An), a disavowal of belonging (Lantian Xie), an appeal to assemble (Zou Zhao), a remapping of a South-South relations (Sidd Perez and Vuth Lyno) and an unforgetting of history (Tan Biyun), their works demonstrate that in speaking ‘for lack of a better word...’ one inaugurates a space for poetry.
Chamber, The Arts House is located at 1 Old Parliament Lane, Singapore 179429
Working in the mediums of performance, video and writing, Zou Zhao explores issues surrounding language, ideology, subjectivity and translation through the materiality of the voice. Working between New York and Singapore, she has exhibited at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery (New York), LUMA/Westbau (Zürich), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Camden Arts Centre (London), Artesonje Center (Seoul) and Institute of Contemporary Arts (Singapore). In 2013, she received the Berenice Goodwin Award for Performance from Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.