Politics of fun
An exhibition with works by nineteen artists from Southeast Asia
Fri, Sep 30–Sun, Nov 20, 2005
“Politics of Fun” focuses on the senses and audience interaction. Rirkrit Tiravanija cooks for exhibition-goers in an act of performative hospitality, and Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook poses in her video conversations with deceased women the question of how we deal with death. Both artists have achieved international success: Tiravanija’s works were recently seen in an exhibition at Guggenheim NY and Rasdjarmrearnsook is a participant in this year’s Venice Biennial. With their new view on life and art, both are considered mentors for countless young artists.
And indeed it is the works of this young generation that are showcased in the “Politics of Fun” exhibition. Its members insist on the right to freedom of expression as an answer to political malaise and cultural amnesia in large parts of the region. In light of monolithic and patriarchal structures, they have developed a defiant motto for survival: “If you can’t change the world at large, you can at least change your own world.” With a do-it-yourself artistic approach they create social spaces to move in. Their idealism responds to global developments ranging from Flower Power to the environmental movements co-inspired by Arundhati Roy in India. A basic attitude is manifest in the works shown in this exhibition—an attitude that can be characterised as the “Politics of Fun”, a brilliant fusion of individual and political demands with playful action. Artists like AIM (Artists Investigating Monuments) put us on eye level with monuments of great symbolic value, be they the colonial masters in Singapore or the sculpture by Henry Moore in front of the House of World Cultures.
The exhibition presents newly commissioned works from important collections, showcasing nineteen artists from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Burma/Myanmar. For the occasion, the central foyer of the House of World Cultures has been transformed into a “Living Room”, where attendees can view unusual and innovative films by twenty artists.
Curators of the Exhibition: Gridthiya Gaweewong (*1964, Thailand) is an independent curator and cofounder of Project 304, which focuses on the multidisciplinary projects of local and international artists. She is currently working on an artist exchange programme between Bangkok and Barcelona. Ong Keng Sen is the artistic director of the theatre group Theatre Works in Singapore. He curated the 2002/03 performance festival IN TRANSIT at the House of World Cultures, as well as Insomnia at ICA in London in 2005.
Politics of Fun:
Hafiz | KYTV (Kill Your Television) | Charles Lim | Eko Nugroho | Wit Pimkanchanapong | Po Po (mit Myint Moe Aung & Soe Naing) | Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook | Tan Kai Syng | Su-en Wong | Porntaweesak Rimsakul | Rirkrit Tiravanija | Lee Wen & Kai Lam (AIM) | Apichatpong Weerasethakul & Christelle Lheureu
Bandung Center for New Media Arts, (Gründungsmitglied: Gustaff Harriman Iskandar) | BioSampler | Emily Chua & Rutherford Chang | Continuum Asia Project (CAP) | Ade Darmawan | Ho Choon Hiong | Santiphap Inkong-Ngam | Bui Cong Khanh | Tran Luong | Nur Hanim Mohamed Khairuddin | Amir Muhammad | Frankie Ng Tze Wei | Yuka Oyama | Lexy Junior Rambadeta | Michael Shaowanasai | Melati Suryodarmo | Tan Pin Pin | Wee Li Lin | Tintin Wulia | Rommelo Yu
Within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Weeks, which are supported by the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin (DKLB).