"It comes down to this: in 25 years, everything has changed. The Substation hasn’t.
So we’re changing everything.
From a ( ) takeover,
to ( ) shapeshifting
a home for the arts,
to suspending its own ( )
Each of the three chapters is a radical live experiment that envisions an alternate reality for The Sub."
The Substation doesn’t understand artists. It doesn’t understand the arts community. It doesn’t have a clue. That’s what we hear, and you may be right.
One thing we do know is that the arts community feels a deep sense of ownership of The Substation. This was very clear at the Town Hall in March, when issues such as discourse, transparency, plurality, and experimentation were intensely debated. It was also clear that there is a general anxiety about art in Singapore.
The government has heavily invested in the arts and culture in promoting Singapore as a global city for the arts, but that investment has come with strings attached. We fear the arts are instrumentalised, and the ways in which the public engage with art have become more limited, rather than expanded. We also fear The Substation is losing its unique identity within this cultural landscape.
That’s why we are asking Is That All There Is? This question is fuelled by all of our expectations, ambitions and anxieties. How do we negotiate the rhetoric and values of the global city? Why and how do we make art? How should art spaces be run? What good are the arts?
It comes down to this: in 25 years, everything has changed. The Substation hasn’t.
So we’re changing everything. From a takeover, to shapeshifting the home for the arts, to suspending its own artistic director, each of the three chapters is a radical live experiment that proposes an alternate reality for The Sub.
Some will get what we’re trying to do. Some won’t. Our questions are not easily answered. But we do know they will loom infinitely larger.
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