Blanc is open everyday. To make sure call/text: Jay Amante, Tel: 0920 927 6436
NOTHING TO DECLARE
Moving into The Blanc
A center left is a center lost. Leaving the Cultural Center of the Philippines (NTD_statement_withdrawalfrom CCP) as venue for one of the three NTD exhibits for 2011 presented a problem of relocating a center for a body of diverse works on migration by different artists from different parts of the world. If back then the core of the conversation would have been the cultural institution as displaced center, what opportunities are now present in a white-cube space that is Blanc?
But more than the question of space, the exhibit’s displacement posed more difficulties in terms of time. Nothing To Declare at Blanc had to arrive ahead, and artists overseas had to be persuaded to immediately send works and revise their travel plans. Circumstances, and the fact that courier and post services vastly differ from country to country mean that some expected shipments are untraceable and have not yet arrived, or worse, could be lost in transit.
A similar challenge was faced by artists based in the Philippines, hence some had to revise their proposals to meet the advanced deadlines.
The move to Blanc is to venture into the void, echoing the uncertainties in the process of transfer and migration. Yet it remains that Banc is gallery space offering neutrality: one that could ground a query into destinations and destinies.
We see that migrations are cyclical and serial, tracing lines of movement marked by centers and stations. Bodies are in constant movement out of desire, trauma, survival, or economic opportunities. And sometimes, motion is borne out of reflex or departure from consciousness.
Nothing To Declare at Blanc traces with each translocation and transformation the idea of a fountainhead– a remembered, imagined or mythical source from which emanates a flux of identities denied or assumed, re-invented, struggled with, and ultimately discarded.
What would be the impetus for these movements, and are there ends in sight? Inevitably, bodies are gripped by, and come to terms with place. Locations determine status, and only the next move can subvert the tyranny, or futility, of positions.
The quest for rest, closure or home, remains largely undeclared.
–Karen Ocampo Flores, venue curator
“I have recently received funding to start a MFA Programme in Visual Arts. Before working as a visual artist I
worked with black opera companies, dance companies, and cinema festivals that time afforded me a deep and exciting view into urban cultural creation by ethnic minorities in London. I am now living and working in Germany.
The work explore issues of identity gender and migration in Europe; it documents the violently enforced silence and absences of black people in Europe.
The entire work is a rearrangement of a famous ordered coherent German text. This text is rearranged to reflect the immigrant experience of Germany as “a series of vacancies and absences, configured in shifting and provisional arrangements, rather than coherent unities, ordered and logical thought.” This is most clearly seen in the constant disruption of familiar visual images of the text to throw the reader. It also is shown in the disruption of the numerical order of the text numbers are incoherent missing and disordered throughout the text reflecting the problem of being counted that faces black migrants in Europe. The displacement and slippages in the lives of these immigrants has resulted in death.
All of the migrants in the work had a virtual financial relationship with the continent of Africa sending money through the wire. Their death in Germany caused very real local hardship for families at “home” The actualization of those “virtual” relatives when they set foot in Germany was at first denied by the German legislature which refused to recognize her as a blood relative. The in the flesh arrival of Oury Jalloh’s mother was the result of a shift in the power relationship between the typical “gast arbeiter” (guest worker) relationship that Germany has to its citizens to immigrants. Instead immigrants who have elected to stay and had financial means and had collected money to invite a foreigner to Germany not to work and go home but simply to bear witness find emotional closure and prosecute in a court of law for reparations. Oury Jalloh burned to death in a police cell strapped to a mattress the cells fire alarm had been disabled, the original picture showed a black character who had to go to bed because he had caught a chill – Oury’s mother enters into dialogue with the image she is shown pouring a libation to her ancestors on the police steps in Dessau, Germany. This image is the reworking of an actual video still of her performing this act enabled by money “through the wire”.
All the people featured in this work were leading rather ordinary lives on the face of it , lives that had “nothing to declare” Alberto Adriano whose grave was later visited by the then German Prime Minister was a butcher and father of three (he was murdered in park and the assault of his dead body which was stripped of clothes) Seibene Wagues was a Physics Major doing odd jobs at a mock African village for intercultural harmony in Munich (he died of asphyxiation after restraint by medical staff which involved their standing on his prostrate body) their extraordinary deaths reveal the assumption of a strangely intangible assumption of being “contraband people” on the part of the authorities/citizens they Come into contact with, an assumption that can only be linked to their ethnic origin and what people interpreted into that. The assumption that there was in fact something to declare and that warranted often massive acts of violence and violation.
All those featured in the work could easily fall into the category of the subaltern who cannot speak, tragically all 10 are dead. But the way they were living their lives, dealing with their marginality could just as easily be seen as “a source of intervention and strength and resistance of constraint as well as change”
The occasion of their death has ironically been the occasion for massive public speech on the part of “the subaltern” who have mobilized politically in ways that were hard to imagine before. The stories of those who have died and the stories of those who have moved to achieve change in the wake of their death provide interesting points of views stories of loss and leavings as well as gains and triumphs that I think would be valuable to share.
Looking for Mr. Vhoy
This proposed photo project will examine a son’s yearning to know more and in coming to terms with the death of his father, an OFW.
For much of his life, Estan Cabigas, 36 and the photographer/project proponent, knows only his father through the toys, the calls, the pasalubongs, and the brief times that he is home. An awkward situation but one that has greatly made an impact on who he is now.
Last May 2006, at around 0100H, he received a call from his mother informing that his father, Jose “Vhoy” Cabigas II died at a hotel room in India due to cardiac arrest. He cried for a few minutes and just
stopped, trying to make sense of the tragic loss. He also realized that plans to know more of his “absent” father, of trying to speak, to hold and to “reconcile” what needed to be reconciled is no longer possible.
It was just too late and he has to live with it. What he is left to do is to know more of his father through the recollections of his mother, the
reminiscences of his sister and kin and holding on to his own memories or the things that will remind him: the myna bird that is still greeting in the morning, the barometer that indicates the coming of a storm or a good weather. He has to contend with the notes written on his father’s notebooks like the recipe for an ox tail stew or the oversized sando shirt with holes in them. “Did my father wore this
during his free time at the ship?” Did he listen to these Toto CDs with his familiar signature written on the case’s face?” Estan is left to wonder.
These tangibles (the things, the people) and the intangibles (the stories, the anecdotes) are what’s left that Estan has to piece together to paint a portrait of his father. “Looking for Mr. Vhoy” will be a photo project that the photographer proposes to do for the “Nothing to
Declare” International Contemporary Art Exhibition. It will consist of a series of images of the things, the people and the places that all have a connection to his father. On the whole, this project will try to make
a portrait of Mr. Vhoy Cabigas.
A Visual / Performance artist: exhibited his works in local and international art galleries, museums and alternative spaces: performed both local and inteRnational art events: member of the core committee of TutoK [artists initiative]: an active member of NeWorlDisorder an open, collaborative and loose multi media art initiative: convener of the art event “Bulong” a night of poetry, songs and other performances: lead vocalist of the band “earthfishfish”.
“ z e Q U E E N s”
[part of “the queen” series] performance by jef carnay
Her smallest gestures, her hand flick, the stance, the breaks and swings, the flow and glide, posture, side smirks, the pause, the control…all embedded in memory.
The “Queen” harnesses the “Reyna”; a performance of recall.
Paying homage to the matriarch: the Queen maker, the artist tries to evoke the persona of “The Reyna”, gradating to become one with the character, unrecognizable nuance.
The backdrop of a house burning is a representation of detaching memories from an object, carrying out recollections without material associations thus relying only through experience.
“We were taught to be proper and dramatic.”
The “Reyna” is the paternal grandmother of the artist.
The burning house represents the ancestral house of the artist in Sta. Ana Manila
Jean Marie Casbarian
Bury Me At Sea (in 5 shades of blue)
2010/Video Projection/8 minutes / silent/5 video stills / Inkjet prints
Cultural positioning in the Atlantic Ocean and international waters – a space that belongs to everyone yet no one -residing in a universal burial ground.
Noel Soler Cuizon
Noel Soler Cuizon
Noel Soler Cuizon is a visual artist, curator and cultural organizer. He is an active proponent of collaborative art processes and largely involved in formal as well as informal education efforts, facilitating workshops, talks and consultations with professional and non-professional artists. As an art student in the 80’s, he was a founding member of the group Hulo, composed mostly of fellow students from Philippine Women’s University where is currently a faculty member. He is also a visiting Assistant Professor at the Asia Pacific College.He has been exhibiting professionally in the Philippines and abroad since 1987 and started his career working with Hiraya Gallery where he was part of the discussion circles led by curator Bobi Valenzuela in the 90’s.
He has established a reputation as a curator and exhibition designer in the Manila art scene, having worked with institutions such as the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Ayala Museum, and continues to work with commercial and alternative spaces independently, as a member of TutoK and as Creative Director of slash/art artists’ initiatives. Recently, he has also become an active exponent of live art performance, creating solo and collaborative performance pieces with other artists.
Lizza May David
Lizza May David (born in Quezon City) lives and works in Berlin. She studied Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Lyon and Berlin and works on issues of migration, memory and nationhood, especially relating to her filipino and german experiences. Her works explore subject formation in ‘imagined communities’ (B. Anderson) and therein strategies of image production, projection surfaces and idealogical worlds. Since 2007 she has been a also member of the artist group Global Alien.
2011/Foto-text assemblage of transcultural imagery in the 70ies.
2 framed pix, color, 7.87 x 11.81 inch
1 copy advertisement, b/w, 7.87 x 11.81 inch
1 copy of a newspaper, b/w,11.69 x 16.54 inch
1 framed text, b/w, ca. 10 x 13 inch
In “The Photographer” I was interested in a chance encounter of two people from different countries in the 70s. Displaying this short moment, captured by a photographic device, I wanted to link to my personal biography (moving from the Philippines to Germany as a child) to a Phantasm, inventing the reason of why moving to somewhere else: desire. Generally I am interested in how personal biographies are linked to socio-political developments and how this is being represented in our society, in this case by street photography and its aesthetics. Within this field I like to question how far exotism is being produced by Media and how this influence and create new realities
Livia Daza-Paris is a Venezeluan-Canadian artist that incorporates video, performance and storytelling as flat form to integrate themes of locality, time, memory and the social , aiming to reflect her humanist approach to art creation. Livia Daza-Paris’ “At the Edge of the End”-a poetic video in three fragments explores grief as expressed through performative practice, language and imagination. This is intended to be shown in public space as interventionist rituals in acknowledgment of political and social history of unresolved poetics of emotions and memory.
The following are three segments of video works. And, before you watch them, let me share with you some of the conceptual and aesthetic considerations that have motivated them:
This project is about the creation of alternative autobiographical narratives (essayistic video, creative writing and performative of rituals), to facilitate an integration of the experience of loss and terror from state organized violence. Ultimately, I see these alternative narratives as life affirming actions in the form of revelatory and imagery rich documents.
I am intently addressing the way my own memory, affects the aesthetics for creating these video pieces. I am playing with time, pacing and spacial relatedness of the scenarios I choose for expressing the gestures and the constructions of the images and narratives.
I am interested to cross the border between the poetic, the imagination and documentary making. Ultimately I aim to engage the artistic practice by combining media, audio, and text, to draw upon political and social history and unresolved poetics of emotions and memory.
No Sounds Carried The Wind:
Kawayan de Guia
I want to explore the impact that migration/globalization has on the worldview / lifestyle of Filipinos in the countryside. I want to collect images of what I call Candy Houses— “Corinthian” style villas and houses that sprout up everywhere along Philippine highways. Functionally, these houses change the lifestyle and dynamics of their inhabitants, mostly families of Overseas Filipino Contract Workers. Living abroad has cut them off from their roots, from a lifestyle that survived thousands of years. This loss is covered with a brand-new house.
I want to dig the layers of alienation implied in the phenomenon of mushrooming Candy Houses. What hides behind the mask of their gay appearance? Why do the owners want to set themselves apart from their community (from those who are not so “fortunate” to work abroad) and from their rural environs? What does it mean to lose touch with the life of your elders? Is the distance intended? Is it consciously willed to make a point? Where does this pathway lead to — this road from root to cement?
For this project I will initially document as many Candy Houses as I can find along the roads from Banawe to Hungduan, in Ifugao. (This route I have traveled often and witnessed the changes over many years, but the trend applies to the whole Philippines). My medium will be mainly photography and video. But I will also interview the residents and gather what I find along the road. From my material collection (images, sounds, notes, sketches, objects) I will evolve my final work. At this moment I cannot pinpoint what the end-product will be — a photo exhibit, collages, pop-up art, an installation, a video installation or paintings. Or maybe a combination of all of the above. I have done similar explorative art-works in Japan, New York, and the Philippines.
Chad Erpelding (b. 1974, Iowa, US; MFA Southern Illinois University Carbondale US 2006) formed an interest with maps through extensive traveling, including riding a bicycle across North America and hiking the Appalachian Trail, which has informed his work. He’s developing a body of work that investigates globalization and its effects on our sense of place through references to maps and charts. Recent US exhibitions include a solo exhibition at Darke Gallery, Houston, Texas and small group shows at 621 Gallery, Tallahassee, Florida; the Linen Gallery, Boise, Idaho; and 1708 Gallery, Richmond, Virginia. He’s also been included in group shows in France, Italy, South Korea, Russia, Hungary, and Mexico. He’s been awarded residencies in Marnay-sur-Seine, France; Boise, Idaho; and is preparing for a residency in Yerevan, Armenia for the summer of 2012. He is currently an assistant professor of painting and drawing at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.
“Western Union: Manila, Philippines” acrylic, screen print and glue on canvas over panel 20”x20” 2011
This work investigates the locations of Western Union agents in Manila, Philippines. These locations act as portals to the mysterious transcontinental flow of money that highlights the interdependence of economies. This piece visualizes the transfer of money through local channels while bringing attention to the most significant foreign economies from which the funds are coming. The layering of glue emphasizes the opaqueness of the system of transfer, refusing a clear image of the source.
Renee Kildow livesin Brooklyn, NY. Her work in the film industry often merges with her own art practice in photography and video. Her current work raises questions aboutthe nature of perception. Subtle juxtapositions of images deal withcultural perceptions surrounding, identity, beauty, class, celebrity and illusion. Renee received her MFA in New Media from Transart InstituteBerlin/New York in 2008. She has shown most recently in Berlin 2010 “Spaces inBetween” and in Vienna “The Shelter Project”. She has received numerous awardsand residencies.
“Bored to Death”, “Damages”, “To Big to Fail”
This new series of photographs focuses on “backdrops” or “translights” that hang in-between and behind film sets. These backdrops are normally minor players providing a glimpse of a cityscape or back garden through a set window, adding another layer of reality to these fictitious settings. But in this case the series presents the drops as the main focus, presented as images in their own right bordering somewhere in-between reality and fiction, photography and painting. At times the images create their own eerily quiet tension and mystery. Questions arise surrounding “perception and illusion”, creating ambiguity within our own city views.
Knoll+Cella have been collaborating on projects since 1998. Klaus has work in the collections of the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Bibliotèque Nationale, Paris; National Austrian Fine Art Photography Collection, and jointly with Cella in the the Museum of Modern Art, Salzburg. Exhibitions at the Tokyo Shinjuku Nikon Salon, Berlin Brennpunkt/DGPh; Alfred Lowenherz Gallery, New York; and with Cella at the Museum of Modern Art, Salzburg and the Art Complex Museum in Boston. He holds a PhD in Literature and Communication, University of Salzburg, Austria. She holds an MFA in New Media and Cultural Studies, Vermont College and directs the Transart Institute’s international MFA program in Berlin and New York.
Out of Place
What is the point of roots if you can’t take them with you? – Gertrude Stein
So sehr Heimat auf Orte bezogen ist, Geburts- und Kindheitsorte, Orte des Glücks, Orte, an denen man lebt, wohnt, arbeitet, Familie und Freunde hat – letztlich hat sie weder einen Ort, noch ist sie einer. Heimat ist Nichtort, ou topos. Heimat ist Utopie. – Bernhard Schlink
Klaus: We don’t have the same word: Cella’s home is not congruent with my Heimat. She is envious for something I lost long ago. We each form our own idea of the term, talking of roots and other subterranean intentions. Some experience still is comparable, beyond all cultural and language boundaries: exile, being homeless, her early hunger for and my old hatred of normality. Home/Heimat is the focal point of this work, in fantasy as well as the one felt painfully missing. The play with projections speaks of deception, vision and the flowing boundaries between them. The melding of interior and outer world, the mutual penetration of separated spaces is not without a certain erotic component.
Cella: These images diary a preoccupation with home. Creating a camera obscura out of places I have lived temporarily or imagined living is in a/my sense the embodiment of a place, a room (a sort of outer skin). The act of creating a camera obscura is a way of bringing that which is outside inside (a kind of internalizing which is not dissimilar to a plant digging its roots). The “live” rooms nurture a desire to belong where I am, a kind of non-material home and the photographs document these acts.
Process: In apartments, houses, hotel rooms and other places we have stayed in we blacken the rooms with tarp and tape, then allow sketchy ambient light to seep through, illuminating the interior without losing the upside down exterior projection created by a single small hole, transforming the room into a giant camera obscura. We then photograph the rooms with a 4×5 or 8×10 camera for anywhere between four hours and a week.
Frances Nicole Silva Manzanero
Philippines (Manila)/Born on October 5, 1992.
Manzanero is currently a student artist majoring in Painting in Philippine Women’s University in Manila. She graduated High School in Philippine High School for the Arts, Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna, majored in Visual Arts.
The project touches the exploration of the idea of Space in which for the artist is defined through the existence of Separation and the distanced memories that repeatedly reconnects with the artist. The mirrors as well as the other objects that contain images and words are the primary choice of materials in this project. These different images and words will be put on the surface of the mirrors into a variety of 30 compositional arrangements while the mirror will then reflect the sky as its primary background.
The material quality of the mirror is very essential to the project due to its potential to produce visual copycats and the ability to powerfully depict the idea of getting closer to reality by means of reflecting real images. It also has the potential to give the observer an illusion(s) of Distance because of what it reflects. On the other hand, the representational objects and images such as sticker products of cartoon characters, newspaper cut outs, drawings, pictures of things from everyday life, letters are what the artist interpreted as little but powerful encounters and this will be the subjects on the pieces. These always remind her of the things that connects to her separation.
Lizelle P. Ortigas
Lizelle P. Ortigas works are series of experiences about unconsciousness, gaps, and short deaths, being manifested during her epileptic seizures. Lizelle P. Ortigas’ intent is to employ this condition into her interest in art and execute a visual interpretation of these recurring experiences. Two layers of transparent surfaces will be installed to project the painting and the EEG video. Both the image of the EEG and the painting cutting through space depicts the events of the seizure experience. The painting, a dark bluish space represents lifelessness, and blankness in the brain depicting the “gap” during the occurrence, afloat in the center of an empty dark room.
Eva Petrič, born 1983 in Slovenia, 2005 BA Psychology and Visual Art, Webster University Vienna, 2010 MFA New Media, Transart Institute NY/Berlin in cooperation with the Danube University Krems, Austria. Currently living and working in Vienna, Austria, engaged in photography, video, performance and creative writing. Recipient of the Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation Grant for 2010 and of the 2010 Grant of the Ministry for culture of the Republic of Slovenia. She exhibited in Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Germany, Macedonia, Argentina, China and USA. She is the author of two novels, published in four languages and a collection of poetry, published in two languages, illustrated with her photographs.
Each media creates a unique atmosphere that differs from others, despite their common aim – to communicate. Photography, equalizing past and future into present, as of now defines me best. I am interested in creating spaces and so I strive to make photographs, be these in the form of images or installations, that are by themselves powerful enough to change the space around them in such a way that they suck viewers in. From the existing spaces I am challenged to develop new space(s). I take the space and develop it further, by extending it, changing it, adapting it to an already existing space, out of which or inside of which potential exists for even many more spaces. I am interested in the phenomena of exponenting – on how may exponents I can reduce a certain existing physical space and/or transform it into many more.
Eva Petrič, I have no borders to declare
2011, photography installation (globe, rice, analog photography, manipulated in dark room, laminated, from my book of the artist Gr@y Matter – language of shadows)
Rice that grows only on certain parts of the world, but exists as food all over the world, illustrates the existential migration which is more intensive then we are aware. Along with the overall migration of people and ideas the concept of home looses its meaning, becoming replaced by the collective unconsciousness. In the present day world of migrations and shifting realities, places, cultures, identities, state borders and their protection become obsolete, the problem of coexistence gaining instead in its meaning. Homeland is the land on which we walk. Rice in my installation focuses our attention to the floor, where the shadows will appear from under the rice as visitors interact with the rice by walking over it, their weight removing it from its place, making once upon a time borders not for ever after borders. Now we live in a world in which gravitational force ties us to the ground. How we adapt to this ground is of primary importance for our existence – not only how we declare but also negate declarations. In other words, despite different look, different education, different traditions we have the same dirt, same light – this negating particular borders so that we can declare this planet as our common and only home – something worthy of being declared!
Mark Salvatus is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Manila and Lucban, Quezon in the Philippines. He graduated Cum Laude at the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design with a degree in Advertising Arts. In 2007, he was awarded by the Spanish Program for Cultural Cooperation (SPCC) a scholarship at the Can Serrat Centro de Actividades Artisticas in Barcelona and at the Goyang International Art Studio in South Korea granted by National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Philippines and Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) Seoul.
Winner of the Ateneo Art Awards in 2010 (Philippines), Mark has exhibited in different museums and galleries including the 3rd Singapore Biennale, Singapore Art Museum (2011); 4th Guangzhou Triennale, Guandong Museum of Art (2011), Jakarta Biennale (2011); Vargas Museum, Manila (2011) ; LUMA, La Trobe University Museum of Art, Melbourne (2011); Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama (2011); The Drawing Room Contemporary Art, Manila (2010); Space Beam, Incheon (2010); Next Wave Festival: Structural Integrity, Meat Market Art House, Melbourne (2010); Asia Panic, Gwangju Biennale Hall (2009); Ateneo Art Gallery; National Art Gallery and at the Cultural Center of the Philippines all in Manila(2009).
He is also the co-founder of Pilipinas Street Plan, a community of street artists and urbanists and a core member of Tutok Collective both based in Manila.
Josephine is an interdisciplinary installation artist who incorporates video, sculpture, performance and sound into her artworks. She received her MFA in New Media from Transart Institute at Universität Krems in Austria this year 2009. She is in constant inquiry into human behavior and its context. Negotiating influences from different cultures, both as a native of and a stranger to these, Josephine takes on a multi-layered investigative approach to both place and time and their relation to forgotten traumas and memories and her identity, both personal and collective. With a past marked by personal tragedy and a year marked by a multitude of changes and travels, No Man’s Land, focuses on the sensibility of being ‘nowhere and somewhere’ within my own timeline between trauma and renewal. Traces of the past refer to emotional displacement leaving marks and contributing to the mental phenomenon of shifts in consciousness, precarious snippets of images that constantly flow in and out of the ‘present,’ somehow linked to the future mental and emotional detritus.
Sen McGlinn + Sonja van Kerkhoff
Both born and raised in New Zealand (Aotearoa) we have lived in the Netherlands since 1989.
Much of our work relates to the human condition as an interweaving of the spiritual, social and material.
Sometimes we work individually and other times with others in various media.
Waka Huia | Feather Boat
small object (computer print edition of 35) 2009
by Sonja van Kerkhoff + Sen McGlinn
A “wakahuia” is a container for holding valuables, but this also means “feather boat” in New Zealand Maori. Sonja van Kerkhoff work is a translucent vessel bearing a cargo of lightness – a cargo of the spirit.
for more images: http://www.sonjavank.com/wakahuia.html
date last updated: 30 October 2011