singapore art biennale 2011: mike nelson
singapore art biennale 2011: mike nelson singapore art biennale 2011: mike nelson
mar 31, 2011

singapore art biennale 2011: mike nelson

image © designboom

mike nelson’s graveyard of wounded plinths functions as an imitation of a once-grand exhibition. seemingly suffering from an attack and complete disrepair, the breaking and destruction of objects helps the viewer to conjure a memory of clean surfaces and contrast their memories with the environment of the piece.

built from the remains of a previous exhibition, nelson took the destructed panels and rebuilt them into the plinths seen here. originally on display in london in an clean white-walled space, it is at the 2011 singapore biennale on the bare concrete floors and almost abandoned looking space that the piece plays a heavier role for viewer. the usual mixing of theatrical elements and fabricated objects found in nelson’s work comes to play in the building itself being surrounded by overgrown natural elements, extending the piece outside of the room.

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

mike nelson (b. 1960) lives ands works in london.

— the third edition of the singapore biennale (SB2011) opened its doors to the public on march 13th and runs until may 15th, 2011. designboom visited the shows, led by artistic director matthew ngui and curators russell storer and trevor smith. the SB2011 open house program is organized by the singapore art museum (SAM) of the national heritage board and supported by the national arts council, singapore. 63 artists from 30 countries are presenting 161 works across four exhibition venues – SAM and SAM at 8Q, the national museum of singapore, old kallang airport and marina bay.

with its focus on artistic processes, the third singapore biennale marks the highest proportion of artists to date who are presenting new site-specific commissions or premieres: 34 artists or 54 % of all participating artists. it also has the strongest asian and local representation to date, with more than 40% of the artists (27 out of 63) hailing from asia and nine singaporean artists in all.

  • for fuck sake!!!

    horgo says:
  • the thing that “bothers me” about this exhibit (and “bothering me” is a good thing) is that i have an urge or instinct to pile all these plinths into a chaotic pile. As they are here, they each have their own integral space, in effect, requiring that they be appreciated individually. This speaks to me about an urge to dismiss something (someone) when it is broken, or no longer able to fulfill its original intended function. as i said, being “bothered” in this regard is a very good thing. thank you Mike Nelson and singapore biennale.

    pstewartl says:
  • originally from [url=] this [/url]

    jj says:
  • I saw a similar work of his in London a couple years ago (Hayward Gallery, Psycho buildings), I must say that photos don’t always make justice to this type of work, Walking alone around such a room had a very strong effect on me, like seeing the result of a monstrous destructive force, unsettling and threatening.
    I love this type of exhibitions which inmerse the viewer in a spectacle which he has to confront and feel, although i understand it is not everyone’s cup of tea.

    Claudio says:
  • It was Fontana’s cup of tea, whom I enjoy very much. However, I don’t know that I feel there is merit in this work, it strikes me as redundant both in practice and ideology: a very late rendition of a once popular tune. Art for the space age, indeed.

    supersmashbros says:
  • Quite a different tune indeed, Fontana was not inmersive nor participatory.
    I found the London installation better as there were no windows and the effect was a lot more claustrophobic.

    Adam says:
  • I’m sorry Adam, but to suggest that any art is non-participatory makes very little sense, it only takes on that quality if you choose not participate with it, in which case it is still you, not the art. Also, I personally don’t see how further dimensionalizing certain formal qualities of spatialism decades after its heyday improves upon the ideas it set out to illustrate, it only seems to entertain a very basic “immersive” approach you apparently value over the content it is meant to embody, and while we’re on the subject, Fontana was actually a major (not to mention early) proponent of purposely creating just such an experience, so you happen to be off-base there as well.

    supersmashbros says:
  • Looks like someone crapped trough the bathroom door.

    booya says:
  • I take your point about participation, I guess I means inmersion.
    The point remains still that you can talk about what is original or what you perceive as being embodied by the work as much as you like but in the end of the day an art piece is as good as it communicates with you on a personal level.
    I find your approach quite snobbish to be honest, but each to their own.

    Adam says:

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