Academic Profile : Faculty

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Prof Ute Meta Bauer
Founding Director, NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, School of Art, Design and Media
Professor, School of Art, Design and Media
Founding Director, NTU CCA, Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA)
Ute Meta Bauer is a curator of exhibitions and presentations, connecting contemporary art, film, video and sound through transdisciplinary formats. Since October 2013 she serves as Founding Director of NTU CCA Singapore – Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore — a research centre of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), where she is a full professor in the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM). Since 2018 she is a Co-Chair of the Master of Arts in Museum Studies and Curatorial Practices co-initiated by NTU School of Art Design and Media and the NTU CCA Singapore.

From 2012 to 2013, she served as Dean of Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, London, UK. Prior to that, she was Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, where she was the Founding Director of the Program in Art, Culture, and Technology (ACT) (2009–2012) and Director of the MIT Visual Arts Program (2005–2009). She served as professor for ten years at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria (1996 – 2006), heading the Institute of Contemporary Art and as Vice-Rector (International Relations).

During her tenure as Founding Director of the Office for Contemporary Art (OCA) in Oslo, Norway (2002-2005), she was also commissioner of the Nordic Pavillion (Norway, Sweden) for the 50th edition of the Venice Biennale (2003) and Norwegian contributor for the Bienal de São Paulo (2004). Furthermore, she was co-director with Hou Hanru of the World Biennial Forum No. 1, Gwangju, South Korea, 2012; Artistic Director of the 3rd berlin biennale for contemporary art, 2004; and Co-Curator of Documenta11 (2001–2002) on the team of artistic director Okwui Enwezor. In 2020 Bauer was invited into the working group of Sharjah Biennial 15: "Thinking Historically in the Present" (March - May 2023). Bauer is currently curator of the Singapore Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale (2022) featuring artist Shubigi Rao, and co-curator of the 17th Istanbul Biennial (2022) alongside filmmaker Amar Kanwar and art historian David Teh.

At the NTU CCA Singapore, Bauer curated and co-curated “Paradise Lost” (2014), “Theatrical Fields” (2014), “Yang Fudong, Incidental Scripts” (2014/2015), “Simryn Gill, Hugging the Shore” (2015), “Allan Sekula: Fish Story, to be continued” (2015), T”omás Saraceno: Arachnid Orchestra. Jam Sessions” (2015), “Joan Jonas, They Come to Us without a Word” (2016), “Amar Kanwar, The Sovereign Forest” (2016), “Incomplete Urbanism: Attempts of Critical Spatial Practice” (2016/2017), “The Making of an Institution” (2017), “Ulrike Ottinger, China. The Arts – The People” (2017), “Ghosts and Spectres – Shadows of History” (2017), “The Oceanic” (2017/2018), “Tarek Atoui, The Ground: From the Land to the Sea” (2018), “Trees of Life: Knowledge in Material” (2018), “Stagings. Soundings. Readings. Free Jazz II” (2018), “Siah Armajani: Spaces for the Public. Spaces for Democracy” (2019), “The Posthuman City: Climates. Habitats. Environments.” (2019/2020) and “Non-Aligned”(2020). The last exhibition curated by Bauer and presented at Block 43, NTU CCA Singapore was "Trinh T. Minh-ha: Films" (2020/2021).

In 2015, Bauer co-curated with MIT List Centre for Visual Art Director Paul Ha, presenting eminent artist Joan Jonas, the US Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale that received Honorary Mention for best National Pavilion by the International Jury. Bauer was an expedition leader of TBA21-Academy The Current (2015–2018) exploring the Pacific Archipelago and littorals that are most impacted by climate change and human interventions in their environments that led to the exhibition “The Oceanic” (2017/2018) at the NTU CCA Singapore.

Bauer served as Chairperson of the Goethe Institute Visual Art Board (2004-2008) and on the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation (2001-2011). Currently, Bauer is a member of Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) Advisory Board, Shanghai, member of the Expert Team of IHME Helsinki and of documenta15 Commission in Kassel, Germany. Bauer serves on the Real Patronato (board of trustees) of the Museo National Centre del Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid and as a member of the Academy of the Art of the World (ADKDW), Cologne, Germany.

In Singapore, she serves on the National Gallery Singapore’s Research Panel (since 2015), and took part in the National Arts Council’s Engagement Sessions on strategic directions and priorities for research in the arts sector. She was a steering committee member of the 6th Singapore Biennale 2019/2020.
• Relationship between climate crisis and cultural loss, research-based environmentally-engaged artistic practices, environmental justice.
• Curatorial, artistic and academic networks of exchange that foster a pluriversal understanding of Southeast Asia.
• Impact of colonialism on culture and its relationship to today’s climate crisis in Southeast Asian and Pacific communities.
• The notion of place, the intersection between locality and global, labour, and flows of capital.
  • Climate Crisis and Cultural Loss
  • Environmentally-Engaged Artistic Practices in South, Southeast Asia and the Pacific and their potential Impact as contribution for transdisciplinary research in Singapore
  • Goethe (EOM) for Climate Crisis and Colonialism. Unheard Stories, Disappearing Ecologies
  • Platform Projects Curatorial Award