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March 18 Simryn Gill Gallery Talk @ Berkeley Art Museum

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  • asha.weinstein@sjsu.edu
    ... Planning ... in ... and ... intention ... rot. ... the ... crumble.
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 10, 2004
      ----- Forwarded by Asha Weinstein/SJSU on 03/10/2004 10:20 AM -----

      >Upcoming Berkeley Art Museum Gallery Talk, on March 18, featuring
      >Professor Ananya Roy and anthropologist Aihwa Ong. The program is in
      >conjunction with the UC Berkeley Art Museum's MATRIX exhibition of
      >Malaysian photographs by artist Simryn Gill.
      >THU MAR 18 2004, 6:00
      >Gallery Talk, Aihwa Ong, Ananya Roy, Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson
      >Gallery 1
      >Visual analysis increasingly provides a critical framework for the social

      >sciences. In a public conversation held in the MATRIX Gallery,
      >anthropologist Aihwa Ong and urbanist Ananya Roy, with curator Heidi
      >Zuckerman Jacobson, will consider how Simryn Gill's photographs provoke
      >cross-regional discussion about "here" and "elsewhere," and the shifting
      >meanings of place and time.
      >Aihwa Ong served as chair of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UC

      >Berkeley (1991-2001) and received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship to
      >study citizenship in globalizing Asian cities. Her books include Buddha
      >Hiding: Refugees, Citizenship, and the New America (2003). Ananya Roy
      >teaches comparative urban studies with an emphasis on the time-space
      >geographies of South Asia and North America. She is the author of City
      >Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty (2003). Both Ong
      >Roy have conducted fieldwork in Malaysia, the site of Gill's recent
      >SUN FEB 8 2004 - SUN APR 4 2004
      >Simryn Gill often begins her photographic projects by posing a question.
      >For Standing Still, an ongoing series of more than 110 photographs that
      >premieres in the MATRIX Program, Gill queried whether a group of
      >photographs could "hold within them, and between them, that unsettling
      >quality of a sort of hesitation in time, stilled time. Time standing
      >still." Gill, who is based in Sydney, Australia, was born and raised in
      >Malaysia. The images were taken on return trips between 2000 and 2003
      >while working on other series, including Dalam, an impressive collection
      >of 258 photographs capturing the interiors of individual Malaysian homes
      >in what becomes a survey of social, economic, and religious diversity.
      >Standing Still combines the peculiarities of location and Gill's
      >to record a passing moment, creating what she calls "a place in time."
      >"I was struck by the growing number of rather ambitious development
      >projects which were simply being abandoned before completion, and were
      >slowly starting to crumble back into the damp and humid landscape. These
      >remains were often just shells of what would have become large shopping
      >centers or apartment blocks or private mansions or even mini towns. The
      >economic crash changed these fantasies of ultra-modernity, as it were,
      >into lonely ruins. From the future to the past without a present.
      >"I started looking at these strange decaying giants in relation to the
      >older abandoned buildings that seem to punctuate the towns and the
      >countryside in Malaysia. It's hard to know why they have been left to
      >Sometimes it's because they have a bad history, like being used during
      >war by the Japanese for the kinds of activities that can make places
      >inconsolably haunted; sometimes it's because of family disputes about
      >inheritance and the like, but often they are left and allowed to fall
      >apart simply because they are old.
      >"It occurred to me, then, standing between abandoned old structures that
      >had once supported life and rotting new ones that had not even been
      >completed, that I was looking at a very particular moment. A place in
      >time, where, one might say, the past lies in ruins, unkempt and untended,

      >and the future also somehow has been abandoned and has started to
      >No way forward, no way back."
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