Witte de With Contemporary Art
Our Program—Moderation(s)
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Moderation(s)
1 August 2012 – 17 August 2014

Do you believe in productive misunderstandings? Does moderation always entail translation? Are you more, or less, defined by geography? A project is a fragment of the future: true or false? If asked, could you explain the difference between moderation and mediation? Without being cynical: aren’t you tired of cynicism? How often, if ever, do you feel manipulated? When you hear “a cross-continental stage for play and production,” does it confound you? Do you believe streams of energy can persist beyond a year’s time? Are you taking pleasure in any of this? Should you?

Moderation(s) is a long-term program, which started in August 2012 and perches on the two international art institutions that initiated it, namely Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam and Spring Workshop in Hong Kong. Within this framework Heman Chong, a Singaporean artist and writer, was invited to steer the program.

Moderation(s) unfolds over the span of more than a year through different projects including three residencies, a series of performances, a book of short stories, and a conference. Each project installment of Moderation(s) questions or redefines the conditions of creating and producing objects, situations, and stories. The projects are developed independently from one another, yet often naturally inform and shape each other. This open-endedness is also tangible in the absence of a pre-established master plan dictating the course of the Moderation(s) program. Allowing for chance encounters and improvisation to often take the lead, the program reveals itself through its participants more than anything else. Driven by the desire to return to the specific nature of creative processes of production, doing preceded defining.

In speaking about this project, Moderator Heman Chong proposes “to make ‘soft’ the practices of both artist and curator, so that one becomes easily soluble in the other, while retaining their unique forms and patterns of working. The participants will be encouraged to indulge in the pleasures of exchanging knowledge and tools without any pressure to collaborate.”

Initiated by Witte de With’s Director Defne Ayas in collaboration with Spring Workshop Founder and Director Mimi Brown, Moderation(s) is steered by artist and writer Heman Chong.

The project is made possible in part with support by AMMODO. The research part of Moderation(s) in 2012 was supported by a Mondriaan Fund (Research & Development) grant.