..boor-koo.. presents recent works examining the politics and strategies of visibility and surveillance, specifically in considering the intertwining relationships between bodies, object, community and the quotidian. These works were developed as part of my ongoing research which looks into the lived conditions of my community in Boon Lay, Singapore, where a large fraction of the residents consists predominantly of the working-class demographic. The neighborhood is also known for reporting high(er) numbers in organized crime activities. Here, surveillance is glaringly heightened and the balance between safety, privacy and autonomy is often precarious. While many associate light closely with notions of safety and security, there are also lights which illuminate more intensely on some than others. Perhaps hyper-visibility then may also be subverted back into survival strategies by functioning to repel and shield as they become diversionary tactics instead of disclosing and outing. The extravagant nature of the works are unassumingly tactical, bringing much more attention to its garish beauty while simultaneously acting as a decoy, masking its identity.
The title of the presentation, inspired by the vocalization of rock doves, is a metaphor responding to the frequent mass extermination of pigeons that take place in broad daylight in the neighborhood. There are uncanny parallels between the perceptions of pigeons—often vilified as persistent contagious disease carriers; thus, resulting in its copulation being constantly monitored—and orthodox representations of marginalized identities, in the ways our bodies are constantly navigating and code-switching in between guilt, shame and desire under surveillance in a hostile environment. Are we truly helpless or were we made to feel helpless? Who gets to harbour dreams and aspirations? Is the idea of meritocracy a myth?