Since 2008 we have been conducting a number of interviews with protagonists, just to understand the local context and to be better informed in framing the project. Southeast Asia is a complex region culturally and linguistically, so it was a very natural choice to engage local researchers, writers, and curators in the project, to conduct local research and create archives.
Aviva Silverman’s work addresses being, belief, and togetherness. Votive forms, like dioramas and tableaux, are viewed through a contemporary queer lens, resulting in a dynamic study of conflicting histories of communion. The New York-based artist, who in the past has staged theatrical performances in which untrained dogs played characters from popular culture, has recently embedded Catholic and secular figurines in a series of sculptures questioning how difference and godliness are made in economies of novelty and scale.
Tobias Spichtig’s work has the appeal of pop music—that’s why I’ve always liked it. It oscillates between trash and glamour, allure and repulsion, emotion as mere effect and—crucially—flashes of intimacy and honesty that appear almost as if inadvertently.
Matti Braun goes to great lengths in order to fold many subnarratives into his hermetic-seeming works. But maybe their true merit is that they themselves fold into repetition as a cultural practice, where the transcontinental references are flattened, creating objects that escape hermeneutics but lend themselves to aesthetic asceticism.
Considering Ruggeri’s belated detour into contemporary art via fashion, it is useful to note the correspondence between the readymade and ready-to-wear in terms of the production of images in the present.