ICA Singapore Events

Object of desire

Object of desire

Date & Time

Opening date: Fri 21 Jun 2019, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Exhibition Period: Sat 22 Jun – Wed 24 Jul 2019
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 7:00pm, Tue to Sun (Closed on Mon and public holidays)


Brother Joseph McNally Gallery
Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
LASALLE, 1 McNally Street





Artists: Dagrún Aðalsteinsdóttir, Weixin Chong, Guðlaug Mía Eyþórsdóttir, Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson, Saemundur Thor Helgason, Daniel Hui, Luca Lum, Guo-Liang Tan

Curator: Dagrún Aðalsteinsdóttir, alumna, MA Fine Arts (2016 cohort)

Object of desire brings together painting, installation, sculpture and film by eight artists from Singapore and Iceland. The works explore the affective agency of images and objects as ‘things’ which are desired, distributed and reproduced.

The title of the exhibition refers to an essay by artist Hito Steyerl titled ‘A thing like you and me’ (2010). In her essay, Steyerl explains the role of humans in the formation and operation of images. According to Steyerl, our participation in images not only blurs distinctions between subjects and objects, but also human subjectivity, which is increasingly objectified. In her essay, Steyerl describes images as fragments of the real world; things ‘like any other—a thing like you and me’.

For the exhibition, curator and MA Fine Arts alumna Dagrún Aðalsteinsdóttir invited each artist to create a work that explores the values and hierarchies associated with ‘being an object or an image’. The layout is conceived as an interdependent constellation, in which the works—as ‘object–subjects’—activate one another.

Download exhibition guide
Download curatorial guide

Image: Guðlaug Mía Eyþórsdóttir, Bracelet and handbag, 2017, ceramic, plaster, 2 parts: (a) 52 x 40 x 3 cm, (b) 25 x 20 x 15 cm © Courtesy the artist