September 24, 2019
...Ute Meta Bauer on Trinh T. Minh-ha
The series begins with a talk by Ute Meta Bauer on the ways Trinh T. Minh-ha’s thinking, writing, filming, and editing inform and influence each other. Bauer introduces Trinh’s cinematic oeuvre and its habitation in a multiplicity of spaces: of language, translation and passage, longing, and culture.

Trinh T. Minh-ha is one of the outstanding feminist thinkers of our time. Her practice, as a writer, filmmaker, composer, and artist manifests many layers. She has been teaching for more than two decades at the University of California, Berkeley as Professor of Gender & Women Studies and Rhetoric.

Leaving her native country during the Vietnam War, she came to the United States in 1970 for her university education. Her first film Reassemblage (1982) was filmed in Senegal where she taught music and where she, together with artist and architect Jean-Paul Bourdier, documented West-African vernacular architecture.

“The story never really begins nor ends,” states Trinh in her book Woman, Native, Other published in 1989, the same year her seminal film essay Surname Viet Given Name Nam was released. Her work is shaped by being in a state of exile, living in diaspora alongside her family, sharing memories and images with others through the voices of her protagonists, the tonality of light and shadow, through nearness and distance. Her work brings to the fore the deep and lasting emotional impact dislocation has on the individual.

Bauer met Trinh for the first time in 2001, surprisingly, not in the cinema but in the context of her first solo show at the Secession in Vienna. This exhibition featured a number of her films in tent-like structures in the large gallery of the institution, allowing the audience to watch her films in parallel. The next encounter was in 2002, during Documenta11 where four of her films, including Surname Viet Given Name Nam, were presented. This film was later featured in the format of an installation in Bauer’s inaugural exhibition Paradise Lost (2013) at the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore.

Ute Meta Bauer is the Founding Director of NTU CCA Singapore, and Professor, School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, Singapore. Previously, she was Associate Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, where she also served as Founding Director of the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology. As a curator, she is connecting contemporary art, film, video, and sound through transdisciplinary formats. She was co-curator of Documenta11 and co-curated the US Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale featuring eminent artist Joan Jonas.

This event is co-presented by CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice and the Curatorial Research Bureau.

This is the first event in our year-long season dedicated to the questions posed by the work of Trinh T. Minh-ha and how they address art, culture, and society today.

Lecture by Ute Meta Bauer on Trinh T. Minh-ha.

6:30 pm