Jeremy Sharma’s exhibition at ICA Singapore has a vibrant pulse and operates as an orchestra. The instruments the Singaporean artist plays are his videos: in one of them there is a saxophonist who introduces a soulful vibe resonating in the entire gallery. Billy Wong, who played in the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, was befriended by Sharma as a street busker; in the video he performs his interpretation for a song composed for guitar, the new score Wong wrote can be found pinned on a wall in the gallery. Sharma films the musician playing at sunset by the windows of a room with a recognisable backdrop of Singapore HDB flats’ skyline. A paper contract next to it, reveals it is an office space rented only for the day of the filming.
Sto in un albergo nel caos sporco di Mong Kok, la mia camera e’ su un piano alto e mi pare di essere un’ eroina di un telefilm del giro del millennio tipo quello con Jessica Alba con il tatuaggio di riconoscimento a codice a barra sulla nuca. Se non sto attenta, mi e’ gia’ capitato di aprire la porta dell’armadio anziché quella della doccia, dato che sono uguali e adiacenti.
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Finding a title for this exhibition has been hard; there was for a moment The abstraction of the art object (2017–2065) but I am no Lucy Lippard and it sounded like I was setting out to write a treatise. Then there were Satellite dreams, Dancing satellite and a brief Star Wars reprise, The last satellite, until eventually the satellite was shut down.
Caterina Riva 2018
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Early morning and the fog pouring into the valley like a river. The hills a shade of emerald so dark that they are almost black. The gently rustling ferns, the wood-plank walls, the water dripping off the roof in beads of light—everything seemed to be drawing breath. She emerged from her sleep as if coming out of a cocoon, opened her eyes into the blooming of things. Through the window she could feel the crisp bite of the wind, see the fog enveloping everything as if the clouds were descending from above. For a moment she closed her eyes. Suddenly the sound of marbles falling onto the roof. When she opened them again the world had whipped itself into a storm.
The local bar was about a 15 minute run away. I ran there because I was late trying to figure out the coordinates at the hotel where I left you, sick in bed.
Have you ever travelled in time to an imaginary place where disparate famous architectures coexist by the placid waters of a lake? Have you ever seen someone else’s living room in a black and white photograph, distant as a memory yet as close as a family member? A lush velvet curtain becomes a portal transporting you to sculptures in Russia or the Trump Towers in India, amid flowers, foliage and clouds appropriated from Italian art history.
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“[…] As the drama of female consciousness in the world; as an attempt to interrupt the dream that man has of woman in order to dream himself; as the possibility of relationships now freed, even if traumatized, from the realm of silence.” (1)
In this precise historical moment, to reflect on what it means to be a woman seems to harbor connotations whose implications are, to say the least, problematic. It does so, in part, because we are still prisoners of a stage in which the male gaze is the one that judges and the only one adopted by the mass media. In a 1973 essay, film theorist Laura Mulvey indicated the tendency of Hollywood movies to reduce the woman to a sexual function or otherwise to a virginal figure of salvation, ever passive with respect to her instrumentalization in male narrative. (2)
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