Headlands Center for the Arts

Siddharta Perez

Singapore | arts professional
Artist in Residence Program 2019

Artist Statement

In practice, I seek directions in artists’ works and primary sources mainly because of my indecision about public history. The limitations I found in working within two cities—Philippines and Singapore—founded the curatorial directions I have taken on in recent years, part-investigative and part-incidental. I am more confident in collaborative processes that are contingent to certain kinships built from initially differing contexts.

I am nurturing a (newish) deep curiosity on the Philippines, supposedly my mother/fatherland, only when I left it for its antithesis (Singapore). In recent years, I have cultivated a consistent research direction that looks at forms of personal agency within legacies we inherit from national history and culture. This trajectory has manifested in exhibitions I curate or programs I am curated into, reading groups, and artist conversations.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands, I am hoping to continue looking at ways practitioners rehabilitate personal legacies motivated by larger transnational moments. My curatorial research aims to generate a pool of materials from artifact and document, cultural analysis, and syncretic literary accounts. I rely on the process of discovering oblique prompts to understanding how public histories have been lived out. The frame I offer is largely viewpoints and reflections from the localities in Southeast Asia that I belong to. I come into Headlands with questions on how other trajectories and potent non-resolutions can be given a space in public history when we are talking about decolonization processes in migratory sites of being for artists, writers, educators, and other cultural practitioners. How can the curatorial field contribute to the scholarship on autonomous and interrelated processes in nation-building and cultural development during particular periods in global history?

Selected Works

“The Cooperation in Recuperation: Curatorial Hope for an Institution,” 2018

“Revulsion and Reference: Crocodiles in Singapore,” 2018

“In Defence of the Curatorial,” 2018

“Interview with Jose Tence Ruiz,” 2017

“Camou, Kamo (Or: Camouflage, You Say?),” 2016

Personal Website