Solar: A Meltdown is a lecture that takes off from the sweaty back of a mannequin of the anthropologist Charles le Roux that the artist encountered in the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. From this image launches a series of investigations that attempts to get to the “behinds” of Empire and more crucially, the merciless sun behind it, beating down on the imperial back. Probing this “solar unconscious” underpinning the European colonial project, the lecture further considers the figures of the white woman and the punkahwallah (manual fan operator) as solar management devices. Spiraling into the contemporary moment of terrestrial meltdown, it finally seeks to reclaim sweat as a way of getting out of ourselves and in touch with the Solar.
Ho Rui An (Singapore)
Ho Rui An is an artist and writer working in the intersections of contemporary art, cinema, performance and theory. He writes, talks and thinks around images, investigating their sites of emergence, transmission and disappearance within contemporary visual culture. He has presented projects at the 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Serpentine Galleries (London), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Monnaie de Paris, Singapore Art Museum, LUMA/Westbau (Zürich), Para Site (Hong Kong) and Witte de With (Rotterdam). He is the Singapore desk editor for ArtAsiaPacific and has contributed to numerous publications. In 2011, his first novel, Several Islands, was published by The Substation (Singapore). He lives and works in Singapore.