Art, Exhibit, South Wing Gallery

Enchantment of Affinities | Kristoffer Ardeña

Enchantment of Affinities
Kristoffer Ardeña
17 May 2011 to August 2011
3F South Wing Gallery

Frontispiece depicting Luzon in Misterios de Filipinas, from the Vargas Archives

The Vargas Museum opens the exhibition Enchantment of Affinities  featuring the video works of Kristoffer Ardeña, a Filipino intermedia artist based in Spain.  Exhibited at the third floor south wing gallery of the museum, the videos converse with the mid-19th century book (1859) from the Vargas Library and Archives titled Misterios de Filipinas by the novelist Antonio del Canto.

The exhibition references the line el demonio de las comparaciones (phantasm of semblances) used by Jose Rizal in the novel Noli Me Tangere. Rizal used this phrase to recall a discrepancy between an empire’s vitality and the lifelessness of the colony. This “spelled the temptation of distance and the promise of affinity”.

Enchantment of Affinities foregrounds the dialogue between the “displaced sensibilities” of the video artist, a Filipino artist based in Madrid and Oviedo, and Antonio del Canto, a writer who sets his mystery novel in the Philippines. Coming from different periods, both allude to the difficulty of “passage” and the “unease of settling”.

From the video "Dead Weight will Sink Eventually" by Kristoffer Ardeña

Kristoffer Ardeña (b. 1976, Dumaguete) lives and works in Madrid and Oviedo. He took his BFA in Painting and Drawing at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, USA under a Presidential Art Scholarship; studied Printmaking under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture, Luxembourg. Ardeña’s works explore the poetic interaction between art practice and anthropology in light of our “contemporary horizon”. Ardeña has had solo projects at La Conservera Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Murcia, at GaleriaOlivaArauna in 2010 and 2008 and at the new contemporary art museum Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo both in Madrid. He has participated in various group exhibitions such as the 3rd Bucharest Biennale in Romania, the 3rd Guangzhou Triennale in China, Konsthall C  (Stockholm) and Bildmuseet (Umea), both in Sweden; to mention a few.


About Jorge B. Vargas Museum

It aims to preserve its collection donated by Jorge B. Vargas and conducts research, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center houses a museum, archives, and library devoted to the Philippine history, art, and culture from the late 19th century until the post-war era. Its main beneficiaries are students, faculty, researchers and scholars of the Philippines and Asia.


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