Erin Gleeson: "Enter the Stream at the Turn"
Programmation Satellite 8
from 24 February 2015
until 24 January 2016
Jeu de Paume, Paris

To watch the video portrait:

“Enter the Stream at the Turn” is a command disguised as a gentle metaphor. Borrowed from a longstanding Khmer proverb, it suggests one should adapt to the mainstream as a cultural code for social and political harmony. In non-democratic contexts where such a proverb remains ever relevant, where freedom of expression is politically restricted, artists often enact this proverb as a strategy of resistance.

For the 8th Satellite program, the Jeu de Paume is inviting four artists – Khvay Samnang (Cambodia), Nguyen Trinh Thi (Vietnam), Arin Rungjang (Thailand), and Vandy Rattana (Cambodia) – whose channels of resistance involve the moving image realized both within and against a complex inheritance of cultural and historical occupation and censorship. Mainstream headlines, contentious contemporary political or social issues, and official histories are approached as reference points for reexamination through intimate, personal narrative. In the artist’s contexts, to tell the small story, to record memory, to quietly mine and reconstruct archives, to simply make unauthorized images, is to strategically disquiet official history. To disquiet official history is to challenge the inherited and living authority that perpetuates it.

The resulting images and narratives reach us in code, in layers, overlapping past and present, reality and fiction, fiction and documentary. In avoiding dichotomous views, a space for ambiguity is offered to agitate dominant understandings around the subjects approached. Further, the featured artists’ practices act to reformulate the position of the artist as distinct from citizen and nation; their goal is not to make clear, to prove or disprove, but to offer a register built on inquiry that leads to unknowing.

independent curator

Erin Gleeson is the co-founder and artistic director of SA SA BASSAC in Phnom Penh. SA SA BASSAC is both a gallery and a documentation centre that aims to facilitate, produce, archive, share and exchange on projects around contemporary art at a national and international level.

Amongst Erin Gleeson’s recent projects are: "Roundtables: The Body, The Lens, The City" (2014), a one day symposium about performance art and its documentation in Cambodia organised by SA SA BASSAC; "FIELDS: An Itinerant Inquiry Across Cambodia" (2013), a one month travelling research-oriented residential programme with twenty participants from ten different countries; a group exhibition and catalogue entitled "Phnom Penh: Rescue Archaeology" (2013) at ifa (Berlin and Stuttgart); an exhibition "Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video" at the Jewish Museum in New York (2013); and "If The World Changed", at the 4th Singapore Biennale (2013-2014).

Erin Gleeson has been the Cambodian desk editor for Art Asia Pacific magazine since 2005, also writing for other publications such as her recent collaboration with South as a State of Mind. She gives talks and runs workshops with various partners including: Tokyo Wonder Site; the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (Australia); the Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong; the Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong; Sotheby’s Institute, Singapore; the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, USA; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2014, she was the keynote speaker at Auckland University’s Curatorial Symposium (New Zealand) on the theme of cultural exchanges and indigenous culture. As well as her nomination for the Independent Vision award from Independent Curators International (2012), she was awarded a travel grant by the Foundation for Arts Initiatives as well as one for young researchers from the Center for Contemporary Art at the Nanyang Technical University, Singapore (2014).

Erin Gleeson was born in Minneapolis. She worked at the Walker Art Center and at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, before moving to Cambodia in 2002 on a Humphrey-Fulbright Fellowship awarded by the University of Minnesota Law School Human Rights Center. She now shares her time between Phnom Penh and Berlin.

The Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques supports the production of works for the Satellite events programme.

A co-production with the CAPC – Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux

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