Jeremy Fernando at the NUS Arts Festival 2018

September 02, 2018

dreams are always already too long ...

Tuesday, 18 September
NUS Museum

This panel will attempt to explore the space, the time, and the language, of and in dreams. And, we will be doing so — responding to the possibility of dreams, the dreams of possibilities — alongside Goh Poh Seng’s If We Dream Too Long. In our attempt to respond — to the notions raised in the text, to the notion of dreams — we will be bearing in mind the fact that any response is always already a reading; reading being understood as the relation to an other that occurs prior to any semantic or formal identification, and therefore prior to any attempt at assimilating what is being read to the one who reads. As neither an act nor a rule-governed operation, reading needs to be thought as an event of an encounter with an other — and, more precisely, an other which is not the other as identified by the reader, but heterogeneous in relation to any identifying determination. Thus, a relation where what is being read and the reader remain wholly other to each other.

And, since dreams are brought forth by and through the relationality of at least three texts — the written, the aural, and the visual — within and quite possibly always also outside of time, at the same time, as Lim Lee Ching, Mark Brantner, and Jeremy Fernando read out, speak, their presentations, Yanyun Chen and Sara Chong will be sketching, making, drawings, alongside the words, the sounds; bringing forth images that will be projected, that will be seen, as they are being made; presented, staged — theoria in the oldest sense of a staging of thinking itself.

And, even as this is a panel presentation, is a presentation as a panel, is presented as a panel, all five performances are singular: thus, always also in relation with — conversing, turning around (conversare) with (con), quite possibly against (versus), but always alongside — each other.

In this sense, this is nothing other than the staging of a dream.




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The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.