The NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore) is delighted to collaborate with the MIT List Visual Arts Center and honoured to present They Come to Us without a Word, the discipline-defining video and performance pioneer Joan Jonas’ first major exhibition in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Presented and commissioned for the U.S. Pavilion by the MIT List Visual Arts Center at the 56th Venice Biennale, They Come to Us without a Word is co-curated by Paul C. Ha and Ute Meta Bauer. Awarded a prestigious ‘Special Mention’ by the International Jury of the Biennale, They Come to Us without a Word evokes the fragility of nature in a rapidly changing environment. In her own poetic language, Jonas addresses the irreversible impact of human interference on the environmental equilibrium of our planet.
“Although the idea of my work involves the question of how the world is so rapidly and radically changing, I do not address the subject directly or didactically, rather, the ideas are implied poetically through sound, lighting, and the juxtaposition of images of children, animals and landscape.”
A curated public programme for They Come to Us without a Word consisting of film screenings, workshops and Exhibition (de)Tours will offer points of entry into and expand on the key themes of Jonas’ work, such as honey bees, ghost stories, and animals. Various contributors to the programme include: artist and filmmaker Park Chan-kyong, paranormal investigator Yasser Matter, and lighting designer Jan Kroeze, who conceived the customised lighting for the installation and has collaborated with cultural figures Merce Cunningham, Karl Lagerfeld, and Kanye West.
Joan Jonas (b. 1936, New York, USA) is a world-renowned artist whose work encompasses a wide range of media including video, performance, installation, sound, text, and sculpture. Trained in art history and sculpture, Jonas was a central figure in the performance art movement of the late 1960s, and her experiments and productions in the late 1960s and early 1970s continue to be crucial to the development of many contemporary art genres, from performance and video to conceptual art and theatre. Since 1968, her practice has explored ways of seeing, the rhythms of rituals, and the authority of objects and gestures.
They Come to Us without a Word was organised for the U.S. Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennale by the MIT List Visual Arts Center and co-curated by Paul C. Ha, Director of the MIT List Visual Arts Center and Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore.
Exhibition opening: Friday, 22 January 2016, 7.00 – 11.00pm
Guest of Honour: The Honourable Kirk W. Wagar, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore
Venue: The Exhibition Hall, Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109443
Exhibition Hours: Tue – Sun: 12.00 – 7.00pm; Fri: 12.00 – 9.00pm
Closed on Monday. Open on public holidays
When: 22 Jan 2016, 7pm - 11pm