Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art presents the on-site realization of The Humans, a theatrical performance by visual artist and writer Alexandre Singh. This project, on view from 26 April – until 6 January 2013, came into being after seven years of correspondence between the artist and Defne Ayas, Witte de With’s director.
Set before the Earth’s beginning in a proto-world populated by spirits, gods, artisans and men of clay and plaster, The Humans – with ‘creation’ its central theme – is modeled after the ancient Greek plays of Aristophanes. Whilst the theatrical references are ancient, the satire is utterly modern: religion, morality and human hubris are all mocked with an irreverent and biting tone.
The Humans evolves and changes over an eight-month period and includes a variety of formats, from presentations and rehearsals to discursive events that are informed by the props produced on site. Leading up to the final presentation of his play in the Fall of 2013, Singh transforms Witte de With’s second floor into an artist’s studio. This on-site realization of the artwork provides the audience with an insider’s look into the inner dynamics of artistic creation.
To actively engage with the artist’s work, collaborations between experts and scholars from different disciplines are forged in order to inform and be informed, inspire and be inspired by the artworks on view, creating moments and opportunities for different disciplines to collide and engage with theater groups, youth choirs, set designers, prop-makers and costume-designers.
Alexandre Singh will be living in Rotterdam in residence for a year until the completion of The Humans.
The Humans Blog
On a regular basis, visual artist and writer Alexandre Singh posts on a dedicated tumblr page, visual material and other sources that serve as an inspiration in the development of his project The Humans held at Witte de With from 26 April to 6 January 2013.
The Humans Reader
The Reader is a selection of texts that provide an insight into different themes the artist explores over the course of the project. It functions as an in-depth source of information and inspiration to The Humans. This booklet is available in limited printed copies for consultation at Witte de With only, and for viewing below on this web-page.
Alexandre Singh (1980) is a visual artist and writer based in New York. Singh, who was born in Bordeaux, France to Indian and French parents was brought up in Manchester, UK before studying Fine Art at the University of Oxford, UK. Singh’s work derives at once from traditions in literature, performance, photo-conceptualism and object-based installation art. Often starting with elaborate, publicly presented lectures that blend historical fact with narrative fiction, Singh’s practice resists categorization. His work has been exhibited in venues throughout Europe and the United States including The Serpentine Gallery, London; New Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Palais de Tokyo, Paris and Sprüth Magers, Berlin. Singh’s work is held by a number of private and public collections including MoMA, New York and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
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