Previously at the ICA - Events

Hans Van Houwelingen, Biokip (2009) SD video, colour, sound, 10 min 13 sec

Unorthodox Hosts selected by Shen Xin

30 Nov 2014

Featuring work by Hans Van Houwelingen, Tulapop Saenjaroen, Shen Xin, Marianna Simnett, Thomson & Craighead, Carey Young, and Xue Mu.

This program features works that privilege the act of problematizing as embodying potential, exemplified through each artist’s attempt to harvest productivity while venturing into the socio-political.

“Unorthodox host” as Jan Verwoert termed in his writing “Gathering People like Thoughts” is used to describe the practice of Anton Vidokle. Verwoert proposes the solution to realise autonomy for hungry ghosts is to authorize the hunger, with hunger being the relationship we established with our understandings of modernism. The pursuit of autonomy, with the socio-political as the context of gathering, is in itself an unorthodox form of hosting.

The works in this programme perform gestures that are made to activate the desires and questions about autonomy; they bring forth a range of open questions within the personal and historical narratives, archival and recollection of data, performative acts, or even the exposure of artist’s complicity within the chosen subject, etc.

These artists and their works are what I come to identify as unorthodox hosts. As hosts, they take social responsibility for the events their artistic projects engender. By utilizing time-based devices in their own right, these host-artists then perform towards collective spirits, sometimes offering themselves as targets.

View our Artists' Index for more information about this year's Bloomberg New Contemporaries, including Artist Statements.


Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead, A Short Film About War (2010), HD Video, colour, sound, 10 min

Marianna Simnett, Faint (2012), Single Channel Video, colour, sound, 4 min

Tulapop Saenjaroen, People on Sunday (2013), Single Channel Video, colour, sound, 18 min 11 seconds

Shen Xin, Records of Rites (2014), Digital Video, colour, sound, 16 min 12 seconds

Carey Young, Product Recall (2007), Single Channel Video, colour, sound, 4 min 27 seconds

Xue Mu, Dance and Body Movement of IJbert Verweij (from Portrait Project since 2012) (2013), Single Channel Video, colour, sound, 5 min 

Hans Van Houwelingen, Biokip (2009), Single Channel Video, colour, sound, 10 min 13 seconds

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