Between spins, stops and change of directions

Between spins, stops and change of direction is a video installation that reveals the complex gathering of agents and conditions of colonialism and globalisation as they meet at the junction of contemporary movements for resistance and sustainability. The video choreographs six characters into a set of counter-positions following a storyline that erupts from an accident composed of the personified ‘Untranslatable Nature’, ‘Self-Optimisation’, ‘Ethnologist’ and others.

Shot entirely in Singapore, the installation sites the cityscape of a regional economic hub both as a stage for, and a scene of, a film that departs from a fragment of Germany’s colonial history in Southeast Asia. It involves Carl Semper, an early Darwinist who abandoned his ethnological research in the hinterland of Mindanao after losing one of his shoes. The distances between multiple historical timelines embedded in the video are intensely approximated in the zooming in and out of facial expressions and body movements. It draws references from the studies of historical figures such as Salud Algabre to the artists’ daily encounter with their neighbour. These dilations critically shape the cinematic reprise of characters and re-animate the past into the psychosis of neoliberal subjects.

titre provisoire’s new commission complicates the practice of gathering in relationships that occur in the promise of “relying to one another” and in the self-esteem of critique. The film trembles as it takes the pathway from theoretically informed reflections to the manic acquisitions of signs and speech acts. Its tapestry irritates its own montage – the planes and diagrams of narration and the longitudinal and the vertical of representation – to privilege the anarchy of producing a new language of desire.

Text by Renan Laru-an

Site specific video installation, HD-Video, duration ca. 32 mins.

Commissioned by Singapore Biennial 2019 and supported by Goethe-Institut Malaysia, Goethe-Institut Singapore and ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen).