These Things Must Be Done to Get Along in Life

Essentially attitude.

These Things Must Be Done To Get Along in Life. Images courtesy of the curator

The exhibition features works by 3 artists, and an artist collective. Held in the alternative space, showroom of post-museum tucked away in Little India, the subject matter of the show is just as unusual as the location. The work by Sha Najak greets the viewer, is an assortment of found objects, easily mistaken for trash, placed on acrylic place mats. Accompanying these, are a series of photographs, presumably near where the objects were rescued (for now). These place mat act as miniature plinths, giving barely enough room for these found objects. The top down view is deliberate, reminisce of the instance they were spotted by the artist. Next, Tan Wee Lit’s action-figure like scaled casts of himself, neatly packed in a plastic bubble reminded me of the excitement of seeing toys hung on shelves. A projection by Kirsten Tan, blurry fizzles, suggesting a confrontation of sorts but filmed underwater. The last, a display of ziplocked objects of a mock-terror-artist, and a pin-up of a fictitious newspaper article about a bomb in the very same gallery.

With the works in mind, These Things Must Be Done to Get Along in Life perhaps suggest  the determination for survival, or making meaning of one’s existence – a martyr for one’s own art, drowning a metaphor for pressures in life, packaging one’s artistic profile, and glorifying litter as a means to explore one’s own values. It isn’t as subliminal as director Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine on a Spotless Mind (2004), but neither is it as easy to grasp as Forrest Gump (1994). The text and quotes didn’t get to me as trying to find the sub-vert-sion of the terror-artist.

Almost as instructional as 10 things to do in tokyo, 10 things to do before you die, the works would need to appreciated by those with some knowledge of the art world. If not go watch Terry Zwigoff’s Art School Confidential (2006). In all seriousness,  the curator has been successful, tackling something tricky, as essential and intangible as an attitude.

These Things Must Be Done To Get Along in Life
Show Room, Post-Museum, 107+109 Rowell Road
curated by Magdalen Chua, featuring works by Kirsten Tan, Sha Najak, Tan Wee Lit and Vertical Submarine

9 – 23 December 2009

artist talks: Tan Wee Lit, Dec 11 at 8pm
Sha Najak & Project X, Dec 18 at 8pm.
email RSVP to thesethingsmustbedone(a)

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