Once library and reading room, the souterrain space in the historic shophouse on
Neil Road has been transformed into a project space for the arts. Corresponding to
both address and occupant, the space is called 136 GOETHE. At about 100sqm
(1076sqft), equipped with professional sound and lighting, and with a separate
access point, it lends itself to multiple functions and uses, be it workshops,
performances, or exhibitions.
The meaning and utilization of 136 GOETHE shall be as much defined by its users
and visitors, by artists and independent cultural practitioners, as by the Goethe-Institut Singapore. Everyone who is interested in intercultural collaboration and innovative practices is invited to engage in and access the new project space.
“We intend to create opportunities that allow new ideas and practices to unfold for a space of innovation and experimentation”, explains Han-Song Hiltmann, Director of the Goethe-Institut Singapore.
“We provide our own framework, our institutional expertise, our support, and our resources. At the same time we want to explore ways of shared ownership and collaborative modes of working.”
In this sense the Goethe-Institut Singapore hopes to continue the conversation
with its partners, audiences and the arts community of Singapore. Throughout
2020, a number of surveys and evaluations were conducted to discuss and ideate
the reconceptualization of the space, most notably a series of sharing sessions
with 40 practitioners from various disciplines including theatre, dance, music,
visual arts, literature and critical writing.
As a first intervention, artist Rizman Putra created a chonteng (Malay for doodle)
at GOETHE 136. Lines, dots and patterns extend from the floor across the walls to
the ceiling of the entrance landing. Through the transparent floor coating part of
the work will become permanent.
“The utilisation of the space will be part of our ongoing programming”, says
Valerie-Ann Tan, Programmer at the Goethe-Institut Singapore. “It is our idea to
provide a platform which allows openness and engagements that will shape the
constitution and meaning of the space.”
Next up is the pilot programme Project Work, calling independent curators,
dramaturgs, or art collectives to propose a process-driven project involving
practitioners who will inhabit the space, develop their works in relation to the site as a temporary intervention, and present its outcome – whether work-in-progress, performance, exhibition, or event. During the short residency the space will remain open to the public.
More information available about 138 GOETHE on their website here