What: Mixed media installation made in collaboration with Elaine W. Ho. Curated by Amanda Pinatih and Britte Sloothaak
Where: Exhibition When Things Are Beings, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
radio SLUMBER began as a series of informal gatherings which took place over the winter of 2020: part sleepover, part social-practice art, part ‘diasporadic’ coven, and part study group. Here, an environment of protectiveness was created – without an audience – based upon particular urgencies and the need for trust and intimacy. This enabled a group of women artists, activists, and academics from the Asian diaspora to address social and personal struggles, as well as exchange diasporic experiences and beyond. This resulted in a series of radio broadcasts, or séances, and an online ‘grimoire’ that favors rest, self-care, and gossip as informal knowledge production.
Through this intimate space with its cozy fabrics and bed sheets, Elaine W. Ho and Amy Suo Wu ask the question if rest can be productive, thinking beyond rest outside of capitalist logics. ‘Downtime' then becomes a form of resistance, and self-care can be seen as a political act. By reiterating their safe space here at the Stedelijk Museum and sharing it with the audience, they invite us to let our guards down, to be seen, and to consider the political powers of friendship.
Installation view When Things Are Beings, 2022. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Photo: Gert-Jan van Rooij.
Video documentation by Florian Cramer