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“What is the current that makes machinery, that makes it crackle, what is the current that presents a long line and a necessary waist. What is this current.”
- Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons
What is the current that presents a behaved waist is the second solo exhibition of Singaporean artist Stephanie Jane Burt. Adapted from Gertrude Stein’s poetry, the title prefaces a shared inquiry into the very conditions that enable specific ways of looking and behaving to surface. What is this current, Stein asks without a question mark, suggesting a question that has not yet sought its resolution. Burt takes up this similar question, considering the very currents that prescribe images of ideal womanhood and how these scripts can be refracted and divested of power. The exhibition continues her interest and engagement with film and fiction and considers the key but often eclipsed character of Judy at the heart of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo who becomes a shadow to the fictitious ideal of Madeleine. Burt envisions the gallery as a mise-en-scène that stages a parallel fiction where Judy’s interiority can be contemplated and complicated. Through a material language that plays with the integration and disintegration of various materials such as metal, wire, ribbon, and lace, Burt choreographs how the unyielding costume of Madeleine that Judy wears can be made vulnerable, yielding to other possibilities of becoming.
About the Artist
Stephanie J Burt is an artist whose practice spans from sculptural installations to fictional prose. She completed her studies at Glasgow School of Art, where she received her Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Painting and her Master of Fine Arts. Her work invites the viewer to explore dialogues between her installations and their settings through a fictional narrative at times referencing film and literature. Her research looks across feminism, gender, an analysis of girl culture and the nouveau roman. She recently completed a residency at ISCP New York in 2019 and has started a research project, A Stubborn Bloom, which explores representations of femininity within fashion, film and material culture.
About the Curator
Samantha Yap (b. 1993) shuffles between writing and project management across the fields of art and design. She curated at second sight (2019) at Coda Culture and her writing was featured in the poetry anthology My Lot Is a Sky (2018). As a writer, she works with poetry, fiction, and is especially attached to ekphrastic modes of writing. Currently, she is in the final term of her degree in English Literature and Art History at the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore, where she is researching on vulnerability and writing.
Banner design by Studio Vanessa Ban
14 March 2020, 6-9 pm
Opening Preview: Stephanie Jane Burt: What is the current that presents a behaved waist
28 March 2020
Artist Stephanie Burt and curator Samantha Yap will share more about the premise of the exhibition and the various film and text sources that contributed to its becoming.
Closing Exhibition Video
Catch Stephanie Burt's last talk and send-off to her installation here.