1031 KT, Amsterdam
Opening: Saturday 15 September, 17:00
Symposium: Sunday 16 September, 12:00 – 16:45
Curator: Annie Jael Kwan
Artists: Korakrit Arunanondchai, Noel Ed De Leon, Ho Rui An, Vong Phaophanit & Claire Oboussier, Amy Lee Sanford, Sim Chi Yin, Erika Tan, Sung Tieu, Tuan Mami, Vandy Rattana, Boedi Widjaja, Sau Bin Yap
When collective memory has been fractured by decades of ruptures, there are ‘ghosts’ in the archive.
UnAuthorised Medium brings together artworks by internationally established and emerging artists, who have deep connections to Southeast Asia while also working extensively across the globe. The artists resist prescribing the frame of ‘Southeast Asia’ as homogenous, activating local histories, communities and knowledge that have been erasured and ruptured as a result of international and civil conflict, genocides, colonisation, ecological disasters, globalised development and international capitalism.
The exhibition appropriates its title from áp vong, a Vietnamese ritual of invoking the ‘dead’. Visitors improvise a ceremony where the ‘dead’ are called up to resolve questions of inheritance and to locate lost, loved ones. The exhibition references this liminal evoking of those lost, suspended or forgotten. Where there are holes in our memories, we search for signs and reconstruct stories.
The featured artists evoke the ‘ghosts’ – ‘glitches’ in the archive, interrogating our systems of knowledge by reclaiming the states of absences and slippages within categorical and extractive archival systems. They stir up these vivid apparitions and shadows through a range of artistic approaches. In doing so, they recuperate more nuanced accounts of subjective agency, and make apparent the form and act of construction.
Just as the áp vong does not utilise a professional medium, but having entered the ‘ghost room’, possession is channelled randomly via someone whose desire activates the process, the exhibition borrows this sense of wilful transformation. UnAuthorised Medium poses an invitation for visitors of the exhibition to become ‘mediums’ too – with the agency of interpretative mobility across.
Made possible with support by: Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture & Science, Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Tolhuistuin, Prince Claus Fund, National Arts Council Singapore, YAA (Young Art Support Amsterdam), Outset Netherlands, Mercedes Zobel, Nell Sully, Sandra and Marlof Maks.