Post-Spectacles: A Conversation About A Conversation

Spectacles - Cermin Mata Poster

“(Goh) Sze (Ying) interviews Sharon (Chin) about taking part in APT8 (8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art). This is a sharing and dialogue session in the form of an interview between Sze and Sharon. You can listen quietly or take part in the conversation. You’ll be seated around us (pretty close! See drawing in the event photo).” (source)

A small zine, made and compiled by Sharon, was distributed during the talk. The talk touched on issues of participating in the arts scene as an artist and/or art enthusiast, on the importance of recording and sharing process, the importance of meaningful and nourished linkages, and many other themes. My frequent collaborator Liyana Dizzy and I had many thoughts on the talk’s contents as well as its format, and we set to unpack those in a post-talk conversation.

An excerpt:

Liy: I felt like the event was a rare kind of event, that it wasn’t very common, that it was a deliberate attempt by two women to carve some space on their own terms. […] I have faith in this talk format tho as opposed to waiting for organizers or larger themed events. They set it up so admirably low-key.

Syar: I think it’s something worthy of being developed and/or repeated.

Liy: Especially as a women-initiated way to get more space for their voices and conversation. Like, can women everywhere please normalise this, this talking about things you’re really good at?

Syar: Or things you’re really bad at tbh!!! Prioritize process. Prioritize broadcasting process.

Liy: I really want that stuff normalised, so I do get emotionally involved about how much I could access Sharon and Sze’s processes. I feel like what Sharon was openly rooting for in the talk (and what Sze selected out of that for Twitter) was stuff that facilitate different kinds of representation and presentation. That really energised me to get playful, to get experimental myself. Show off your work! Invite each other along! Talk to each other! Don’t let language barriers disrupt your shit! Remember art gets around! Embrace the idea of it being a continuous unresolved thing we work through together! I love it.

Syar: To me, everything that Sze outlined (which definitely are my personal highlights) emphasized community, emphasized mindful linkages. […] To write, to record, archive, to refer, to stammer in languages you’re not comfortable in, is to constantly be trying to communicate to others.

Head over to Liy’s website to read the full conversation. You can also check out the full annotated recording with notes from both Sze and Sharon.