Feminist history, the law and the archetype of the witch are intertwined in an ambitious multimedia installation, created by celebrated Irish artist Jesse Jones , which is being shown at the LASALLE College of the Arts.
Titled Tremble Tremble, the work was originally presented at the 57th Venice Biennale, where Jones represented her country at the Pavilion of Ireland. Before a tour of Ireland in 2018, Tremble Tremble is being exhibited in Asia for the first time at LASALLE’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) Singapore, where it will be adapted to incorporate elements inspired by Jones’ experience of Singapore’s history and culture.
Jones spent two months as Artist in Residence at LASALLE in July and August 2017, during which time she was drawn to the work and archive of LASALLE founder and fellow Irish artist Brother Joseph McNally, the mythologies behind the Chinese Seventh Month and other eclectic influences unique to Singapore. She shares that, even for audiences familiar with her work in Venice, the installation at LASALLE will unveil new aspects and perspectives to her vision.
“I believe much of the parallels in the Irish and Singaporean consciousness came from our shared experience of British colonial law. I have tried to explore this in Tremble Tremble,’ said Jones. “In particular, I was drawn to the Hungry Ghost Festival, and how such spiritual connections to the dead can create a direct material way of dealing with the past and shaping the future.”
Bala Starr, Curator of Tremble Tremble and Director, LASALLE’s Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, said: “As international partner of the Irish Pavilion, we have been involved in a creative conversation about this work since Jesse was awarded the Venice opportunity. We are excited and honoured to present this bold, complex artwork here in LASALLE, in a new iteration with Singaporean influences. This exhibition truly exemplifies the cutting-edge approach and international engagement that drives so much of what we do,” said
Tremble Tremble was officially opened by Mr Geoffrey Keating, Ambassador of Ireland to Singapore, at LASALLE College of the Arts on November 3. The exhibition runs till January 28.
The title is drawn from a 1970s Italian wages-for-housework movement, during which women chanted Tremate, tremate, le streghe sono tornate! (Tremble, tremble, the witches have returned!). In her work, Jones returns to the witch as a feminist archetype and disrupter who has the potential to transform reality and institutions of law. Visitors can look forward to experimental multimedia forms including an enormous, moving curtain sculpture; a series of video projections that will surround the spectator; performance gestures and scenography.
Jones’ LASALLE residency included a two-day workshop with 19 BA(Hons) and MA Fine Arts students, which explored ways of thinking about politics, subjectivity and art-making. She said: “It was my first time engaging with young artists in Singapore, and I was impressed by their thoughtfulness, maturity and spirit of inquiry. There is such a wonderful diversity of cultures and contemporary influences here in Singapore that students really have the best of all worlds, in terms of the art and ideas they are exposed to.”
Tremble Tremble is part of The McNally Legacy – Celebrating Contemporary Arts, which commemorates the artistic and educational contributions of LASALLE founder Brother Joseph McNally. It is co-produced with Project Arts Centre and supported by The Ireland Funds Singapore and the Cultural Matching Fund, Culture Ireland, the Arts Council of Ireland and Dublin Port Company.
Exhibition period: November 4, 2017 to January 28, 2018
Gallery 1, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
LASALLE College of the Arts
1 McNally St, Singapore 187940
Opening hours: Noon – 7pm, Tuesday to Sunday
Closed on Monday and public holidays