The days of art viewing is exclusive to the rich and famous are long gone, especially when it comes to contemporary art. Then again, the basis of visual art forms remains. You want something that’s flat and hung on the wall like a painting? Check out the three flat TVs hung on the wall at Singapore Art Museum’s lobby, it’s The End of Art Report by Urich Lau.
Be it in the 18th century or the 21st, and in whichever sector of the art world, bread & butter are always in the centre, or right next to the centre, of concern. Perhaps in the olden years, art exhibitions and museums received stable support from the wealthy nobles, so long as they liked the works.
Today, as policy makers try to bring arts and culture to the mass, funding from all possible avenues to sustain art & cultural institutions is crucial. We have seen museums closing down when Europe was hard hit by the financial crisis. During the 16-day partial shutdown of Obama’s administration last year, museums and parks were one of the first victims.
The artist Urich Lau has come up with three fictional news of the imminent closure of three cultural institutions in Singapore. By encrypting real newscasts aired on Singapore’s national TV with the fictional news presentations, he has once again displayed his forte in video art, to the extent that, one can give up attempting to differentiate between the real and the fictional.
While efforts have been put in to make art and culture more accessible, is the public echoing sufficient support? Urich has utilised his work of media to engage the public as well as to bring to the fore, how people in Singapore view museums, arts & culture, and how important they are to people in general.
Along the way, a sense of loss may creep in when the days of an art institution are numbered. But is that a knee-jerk reaction or a result of real interest in the arts? If the fiction were to become the truth, who will turn the situation around? How do we move on from here? And toward which direction?
The End of Art Report, 2013
by Urich Lau
Three multi-channel videos
Singapore Art Museum, main lobby
Collection of the artist
Singapore Biennale 2013 commission
Interestingly, as I look at the photo I have taken of the art work, the public sitting below the art work appears to be nonchalant to the news and minding their own business. Is that a valid representation of the mass?