Theatrical Fields

Judith Barry, video still from Voice off (1999). Courtesy of the artist and Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles and Galerie Karin Sachs, Munich.

Theatrical Fields

Stan Douglas, video still from Suspiria (2002). Courtesy of the artist, David Zwirner NY/London and Victoria Miro, London.

Theatrical Fields

Isaac Julien, Vagabondia (2000). Installation view, the Turner Prize (2001), Tate Britain, London. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery, London.

Theatrical Fields

Image: Joan Jonas, Lines in the Sand (2002). Photo: Werner Maschmann. Courtesy of the artist.

Theatrical Fields
22 Aug 2014 - 02 Nov 2014
FEE: Free Admission

Theatrical Fields examines forms of artistic practice that make use of the theatricality in performance, film and video. Theatrical Fields is set to coincide with the Singapore International Festival of the Arts (SIFA), and will hold a symposium hosted by TheatreWorks on 23 August 2014.

The exhibition brings together major video installations: Voice off by Judith Barry (USA), Suspiria by Stan Douglas (Canada), Lines in the Sand by Joan Jonas (USA), Vagabondia by Isaac Julien (UK) and X Characters RE(hers)AL by Constanze Ruhm (Austria).

First exhibited in Bildmuseet of Umea, and curated by Ute Meta Bauer with Anca Rujoiu, the exhibition explores the use of theatrical elements as an artistic method to challenge conventional representations of reality and linear histories.


Theatrical Fields introduces theatricality as a critical strategy in performance, film and video.

The concepts “theatre” and “theory” share etymological roots: the two both derive from the Greek word “thea”, which means “to see”. Theatrical Fields evokes this deep-rooted connection between theatre and theory; in this conception, theory suggests an act of contemplation of something that unfolds in front of our eyes. Moreover, in order to see something clearly, one needs to take a step back and observe it from a distance, as if a spectator watching a theatre play.

However, “theatricality” does not refer strictly to the theatre; it also points to the constructedness of everyday life. Theatrical forms make visible how our realities are often staged, and also the ways in which our histories are constructed and performed. The artists in this exhibition make use of various theatrical elements—from “character” to “voice”, “script”, “choreography” and “ritual”—to question and re-vision society’s existing scripts and histories. In its staged appropriations, the performativity of reality becomes more obvious.

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA Singapore)
Exhibitions: Block 43 Malan Road, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 109443. Research Centre and Office: Block 6 Lock Road, #01-09/10, Gillman Barracks, Singapore 108934

Exhibition Hours
Tue - Sun: 12.00 - 7.00pm
Fri: 12.00 - 9.00pm
Mon: Closed
Open on Public Holidays
Free Admission

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