Mapping The Corporeal
Time & Location
About the Event
The paintings of Ronald Ventura appear as theatrical tableaux that entice, surprise and disrupt. They deploy a bricolage of visual elements drawn from popular culture, illustrations and commercial photography mobilized as virtual signs of contemporary life, conflating and reconfiguring, indeterminate in their destinations. They sit uneasily as facile objects of technical wonder and documents of social criticism.
In his curatorial essay, Shabbir Hussain Mustafa relates the works by Ronald Ventura to the “commodification of the human body, paranoia and religious consciousness” set within the context of hyperconsumption. Desire becomes readily reproduced, it mutates with mechanical efficiency, where the body struggles to maintain its agency, emerging in Ventura’s paintings as human-animal-machine assemblages simultaneously grotesque and amazingly seductive. A commentary that follows Mustafa’s essay, by Patrick Flores, deconstructs that element of seduction, the application of the body and hyper realism constituting a fascination marked by fetish for the clinical and predicament of signification. Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop’s contribution to the catalogue provides background and contexts to Ventura’s practice highlighting his play of anatomical (re)constructions.
The NUS Museum wishes to thank the artist, Ronald Ventura, for his collaboration in the project. It also wishes to thank the exhibition coorganiser, Artesan, and in particular Roberta Dans, for their industry and material support. We are also grateful to contributing writers Patrick Flores and Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop. The exhibition is being presented adjacent to a permanent presentation featuring the Museum’s collection of works by Ng Eng Teng. This intimation is apt and germane, providing opportunities to reflect on the regard for the body as a discursive construct through varying modes of representation and articulations of the real, realism and social commentary.