Not Against Interpretation: Untitled
To what extent do names and titles give meaning to art?
Do names and titles attach meaning to a piece of art? For example, does knowing that painting X was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci and is titled “Mona Lisa” give the painting its significance? To a certain extent, yes. However, to what extent does a name or a title define the meaning of art?
In July 2013, the Singapore Art Museum held their second series of the “Not Against Interpretation: Untitled” exhibition. The exhibition encourages the audience to embrace open-endedness by devoting the show to untitled artwork by Singaporean artists such as Cheo Chi Hiang, Chua Ek Kay and Goh Beng Kwan amongst others.
When viewing art, most people would study the title then associate it with the artwork after. However, this exhibition showcases a collection of drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures all titled, ‘Untitled’. As none of the works of art have a title, this exploits the ‘openness’ of contemporary art, the face that it can be interpreted in many ways and it acts as an opportunity for the audience to interpret the artworks in their own way.
The audience is also encouraged to engage with the artworks as they are invited to give their own titles to the works. After inserting the labels into slots placed beside the works, other subsequent viewers can then see the gamut of titles each work inspired. This interactive element creates a whole different experience for the audience and truly encourages the idea of open-endedness thinking in art.
The exhibition runs till 27 April 2014 at the Singapore Art Museum.