Angewandte Talks as part of the exhibition ars viva 2021

8 December 2020; 19 January 2021; 26 January 2021

8 December 2020, 7 pm Grit Weber with Sung Tieu

19 January 2021, 7 pm Willem de Rooij with Richard Sides (in English)
26 January 2021, 7 pm Willem de Rooij with Rob Crosse (in English)

The dialogue took place over the course of three evenings and will be streamed on Instagram Live.

Willem de Rooij and Grit Weber in conversation with the ars viva prize winners Rob Crosse, Richard Sides and Sung Tieu.

There can hardly be a better way to understand artists’ work than through personal and direct dialogue. For the exhibition ars viva 2021, which is currently showing at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main with works by the latest ars viva prize winners Rob Crosse, Richard Sides and Sung Tieu, the museum has developed three virtual roundtable discussions on the Instagram Live format, thus continuing its Angewandte Talks series with a new focus.

The first discussion took place between the artist Sung Tieu and the curator Grit Weber on 8 December. On 19 and 26 January, artist Willem de Rooij did then lead the format and invited Richard Sides and Rob Crosse into conversation.

Dialogue partners

Rob Crosse

Rob Crosse was born in 1985 in Hertfordshire (UK) and studied photography at Arts University Bournemouth and fine arts at the Slade School of Fine Art in London.

In his videos, performances and photographs, Rob Crosse focuses on intergenerational relationships, exploring themes such as care, vulnerability and forms of intimacy. Manifesting perceptive and tender portrayals, with an invariably respectful gaze, his works present shared ventures of homosexual older men, who often organise themselves in associations. Further, the works are concerned with the support needed in old age as well as the related dependencies and power dynamics that arise. Crosse consciously draws on taboo subjects such as sexual desire and attractiveness in old age, calling into question common ideals of the body. At a time when queer lifestyles are attacked and demeaned by nationalist groups, the artist defines new forms of belonging and masculinity in his works.

Richard Sides

Richard Sides was born in 1985 in Rotherham (UK) and studied fine arts at Sheffield Hallam University and the Royal College of Art in London.

A variety of references, including the Internet, form an inexhaustible source for Richard Sides’ work. He extracts images, music, texts and themes from this global archive of daily life and reconfigures them in his art. In this way, he often follows how people interact with a media-orientated, thoroughly commercialised world, while emphasising the aggressive and conflictual nature it contains, by way of hard, fast cuts, particularly in his videos.

For this exhibition he has specially developed an ensemble comprising a bench in its various elements, and a mobile hanging from the ceiling. Attached to the bench are boxes into which he has placed pictures and items from his own collection. The basic constructions of the parts of the bench are similar, though the dissimilar side profiles may force the bodies of the sitters into different postures. Sides room installations, image collages and objects appear irreverent and occasionally improvised, yet their concrete materiality and construction always refer to the man-made, formulating a critical analysis of current capitalist conditions.

Sung Tieu

Sung Tieu was born in 1987 in Hai Duong, Vietnam and studied art a t the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg and at Goldsmiths College in London, graduating from the postgraduate program of the London Royal Academy of Arts .

In her video works, objects and spatial interventions, Sung Tieu explores primarily sociocultural and identity-political issues while seeking to fathom experiences of migration and foreignness. An important aspect of her work is the use of sound, which she investigates in its psychological dimension, turning the exhibition space into an experimental laboratory for sensorial perception in the process. Tieu crosses the documentary with the fictional, combines historical political events with biographical elements and expands the seemingly factual to encompass magical narratives. In Parkstück, on display here, she addresses the theme of social order and the regimentation of human interaction. The indivisible unity of the table and seat can ultimately stand for society’s ideal image of the nuclear family in dissociation from other forms of co-existence.

Willem de Rooij

Willem de Rooij was born in Beverwijk, the Netherlands, in 1959. He examines the effects that images have, by way of various forms of media in his work. Collaborations and appropriations shape his artistic approach, and his work has inspired art historical and ethnographic research projects. De Rooij teaches at the Städelschule, Frankfurt/Main, the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, and the BPA // Berlin Program for Artists, which he co-founded. He was DAAD Artist-in-Residence in Berlin and a Robert Fulton Fellow at Harvard. Together with Jeroen de Rijke, his duo partner from 1994 to 2006, he represented the Netherlands at the 51st Venice Biennale.

De Rooij's most recent institutional solo exhibitions have been: KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; IMA Brisbane; Museum MMK für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/Main; Le Consortium, Dijon and Jewish Museum, New York

Grit Weber

After studying art history and cultural anthropology, and working as a journalist for many years, Grit Weber has been Deputy Director and Curator for Design, Art, and Media at the Museum Angewandte Kunst since 2015. She was a jury member of the ars viva prize 2021 and, together with Lieve Brocke, curated the exhibition for the Museum Angewandte Kunst.

Copyright from left to right: Sabine Schirdewahn; Ronald Laube; Jonas Leihener; J. Pryde; Xin Li

Angewandte Talks – Willem de Rooij with Richard Sides (in English)

In the second dialog took place on 19 January: Willem de Rooij talked to artist Richard Sides about the wide range of reference of his art and how he extracts images, music, texts and topics of this global archive, which he then reassembles.

You can watch all the videos of the series on our Youtube account.