A symposium and screening programme of screenings of two feature-length films by Cambodian filmmakers and a series of short films by emerging filmmakers from Southeast Asia.
This report, commissioned by the Tate Research Centre: Asia, is a summary of a panel organised by Eva Bentcheva, independent art historian and curator, at Tate Modern on 21 November 2016. Entitled A Stitch in Time? Situating David Medalla’s ‘Participation-Production Performances’ between British and Philippine Performance Art History, this panel formed part of Contact Points: a seminar in which participants in the 2016 Tate Research Centre: Asia Visiting Fellowship Programme presented their research projects.
I first saw the Le Brothers’s large-scale three-channel video projection installation Into the Sea (2011) at the 2013 Singapore Biennale. The video featured the identical male twins in a series of beautifully filmed scenes set against the languid backdrop of the ocean. On one screen, the long-haired shirtless pair dig into the sand on a beach, and one buries the other in the sand.
The title of the Tate Britain exhibition “Artist and Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past” overstated the reach of the actual show. Held from November 2015 until April 2016 and curated by Alison Smith, David Blayney Brown, Carol Jacobi and Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, experts in Brtish art from the late 18th century to the 20th century, “Artist and Empire” featured 200 selected objects, drawn exclusively from British collections and spanning different historical genres such as maps, heroic paintings, collectibles, portraiture and the artworks made in response to the aftermath of empire. The curatorial description in the visitor’s booklet invited the audience “to consider how [the artworks’] status and meaning change over time. In reflecting imperial narratives and postcolonial re-evaluations, [the exhibition] foregrounds the peoples, dramas and tragedies of Empire and their resonance in art today.”