"Keep in it real and chilling with my friends Henri and L."
2011｜Oil on linen｜193 × 304.8 cm
Copyright© Diego Singh
coutersy of Tomio Koyama Gallery
Diego Singh was born in Argentina. He received B.A. in Social Communications and M.A. in Art Direction from the Kennedy University. During 2003 and 2004, he acted as a curator at the Miami Light Project (Miami), directing its Visual Arts Program. He lives and works in Miami, Florida. Singh has held solo exhibitions at Fredric Snitzer Gallery (2005, 2008, and 2010, Miami) and Mendes Wood (2010, San Paulo). His group exhibitions include “I Feel Mysterious Today” at the Palm Beach ICA (2004, Florida), “Pinata Party” at Gavin Brown's Enterprise (2004, New York), “For all and no one” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2005, Miami), “Hanging by a Thread” at Moore Space Miami (2005, Miami), and “Think Warm” at the Tomio Koyama Gallery (2006). His works have been included in the public collections such as MOCA North Miami and Rosa and Carlos de La Cruz Collection. This is the second solo exhibition at Tomio Koyama Gallery since “The Indirect Man” in 2007.
【About the exhibition】Tomio Koyama Gallery is pleased to present Diego Sigh’s solo exhibition “Table for One.” Singh has contributed the following text for the exhibition:
At the moment I go to restaurants, the movies or the gym alone. I am not embarrassed by this, but if I’m dining out, I turn my phone on and pretend that I am talking to someone. How do you do this?
Well, let’s say you are at your usual restaurant and the procedure has to look real since they already know you: You must press something on your phone and when the light goes on your screen (and the people at the restaurant can see it and believe that you are indeed engaged in conversation), you dial your own number.
You will arrive to your own voicemail settings, the standard greeting will sound and then, you should leave yourself a message and chat, chat a lot, don't worry if you get disconnected, dial again and avoid humiliation. Avoid the pitiful stare of the waiter bringing you a complimentary cookie or whatever he thinks can make you feel better. You are alone, but no one should notice it or they might think you are a freak.
Painting endures all of these circumstances today. Dining on its own references alone with no friends, talking to itself. Painting now more than ever, tries to talk to performance, or video, or photography, or theater, or whatever really, as the demands from the art world are clear: Engage, open up, dial right away and stop the monologue.
What results from this is a conversation that is rarified to the extreme: You, or Painting, would say on the phone: "I don't really like my friends"; "It’s just like, they are people I work with and our job is being popular and shit"; "Maybe it’s time to take a vacation"; “Aha, yes, yes, of course…Really?”; "What's your damage?" (Silence on the other line…). Then again: “Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?”… Ok, I’ll call you later.”
So, to say that the boat is sinking and the phone is wet and all is fading away is wrong. The fact is that the restaurant is too crowded, the plate is too full and there are tons of images now. And I'm not talking about irony here, as it has been emptied out by overexposure. I am talking about exhaustion, loneliness and moving on. And I am talking about the style of conversation that emerges when talking to yourself, when using the phone to call yourself.
Is this insecurity? I don’t think so. This is called having a goal, knowing what you want. Knowing too well that there isn't any poetry in the perception of being alone but knowing also that your loneliness must be defended at all costs, even if by doing so, your actions may render you opportunistic, cruel, selfish and insensitive. This press release talks about over-sharing strategies, feelings and wanting to fit in.
So, after the exhaustion that comes from trying to engage with others, two obvious options for the Painter emerge:
1.- Dine with other people and really be with them while trying to commemorate, preserve, look for consensus, open up your practice.
2.-Be fabulously alone and insist on it. If you go for this one, my advice is to use the Aha’s, the Oh my goshes to your own advantage. Write a press release and do two things at once: explain your exhaustion and love while making absolutely clear that this is just a maneuver that will grant you freedom from style, from expectations; from the glare of the waiter or his extra cookie. (You know you can’t be too grateful to the waiter anyways, or he will expect a bigger tip next time.)
After a fantastic chat on the phone with my best friend, I usually leave the restaurant and go home, knowing that I can enjoy being alone in my underwear, no shoes, bad hair. And more importantly, knowing that through the little effort it entails to dial my own number, I am assuring more years of being able to paint whatever I want - of total aloofness and autism. Of reveling in my own bed, dancing to my own song, dwelling on my neons, my Napoleons, my Liam Gallaghers with elf ears, my smurfs, my stained denims. Cheering on my own inconsistencies, contradictions, delusions, lack of style, lack of compassion, lack of realism, whatever really, MAKING ALL MY RESOURCES STRONGER. FEEDING THEM. Without ever, ever, having to bother with anyone for more than 2 hours per solo show or fine restaurant experience.
Diego Singh. Miami, September 9th, 2011.
1. Extracts from dialogues between Heather and Heather from the movie Heathers, written by Daniel Waters, 1988.
* The text provided by Tomio Koyama Gallery.
Period: Wednesday, November 2 - Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Venue: Tomio Koyama Gallery