By Wernmei Yong Ade, Lim Lee Ching
This well timed assortment examines the modern arts as political perform, providing severe perception into a few of the extra arguable conversing issues that experience formed Singapore’s identification as a state. targeting the position performed by means of modern arts in shaping Singapore’s political panorama because the kingdom celebrated 50 years of independence in 2015, the authors reflect on how politics is frequently perceived as that which limits the flourishing of the humanities. Contending that each one paintings is political, and that every one artwork shape is a sort of political perform, this assortment examines ways that the perform of artwork in Singapore redraws the bounds that conventionally separate arts from politics. It seriously examines the tenuous courting among the humanities and politics and provides a well timed reevaluation of the connection among the humanities and politics. In doing so, it opens a discussion among creative perform and political perform that enhances the mutuality of either, instead of their exclusivity, and redefines the concept that of the political to illustrate that political involvement isn't really an easy topic of partisan politics, yet has an inherently aesthetic measurement, and aesthetics an inherently political one.
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Extra resources for Contemporary Arts as Political Practice in Singapore
Y. L. 1057/978-1-137-57344-5_3 29 30 L. HO BODY There are various sorts of bodies here: nude bodies, soiled bodies, individual and collective bodies, bodies of work. The equivalent of the proverbial money shot occurs in Cane (2012) when Loo Zihan, clad only in his underwear—to which he has successively stripped down, over the course of the performance, from an allwhite ensemble and a black dressing gown—finally discards even that last shred of modesty. 1 Loo’s full frontal nudity marks the latest moment in a trajectory of corporeal confessionalism.
Loo’s recent work is read within its specific socio-historical moment: if it indeed confesses, what do its necessarily subjective confessions imply about the broader nation-group, the social milieu in which it operates? Ho is interested in what these “gestures of bodily revelation” (Ho) reveal about the Singaporean body politic today. In its unruly instantiations— publicly nude, ceremonially soiled—the non-compliant body articulates a resistance to the impositions of state and society. Loo enacts a denial of performative reiterations of power, repudiating the required corporeal manifestations of the citizen-subject.
Rather, as Loo asserts, it is the “fragmented … memory” of the piece that concerns him, the numerous documents which structure our access to the prototype, and which provide the basis of (future) contestation. Watching the recording of Ng’s performance is to witness ontological ghostliness at work; the originary event is always already deferred, and contemporary audiences, 8 Ray Langenbach, “Leigong Da Doufu: Looking Back at ‘Brother Cane’” in Looking at Culture, eds. Sanjay Krishnan et al. (Singapore: Chung Printing, 1996), 123–136.