Sandra Palomar and Nolet Soliven
25 August – 24 September 2011
3rd Floor South Wing Gallery
The UP Vargas Museum opens Flesh, an exhibition reflecting on the myriad interpretations of the female body in art and language featuring the works of Sandra Palomar and Nolet Soliven, and materials from the museum’s library and archives.
Soliven’s work, a monumental piece of drawing and painting on paper, presents larger-than-life cropped images of the female nude, distorting the viewers’ sense of scale as they encounter the female body in parts. Palomar, on the other hand, installs Marcelino Sanchez’s Nude Study from the Vargas Museum art collection viewed only through a peeping hole, limiting the viewers’ gaze to a fixed point. Both artists try to intimate the trajectories of representing the female body in art: from line and contour to mass; and from entirety to parts suggesting the marked presence of photography in the latter half of the 20th century.
Engaging in a dialogue with the works of the two artists is Richard Ewell Elkins’s Manobo-English Dictionary published in 1968 from the Vargas Museum Library collection, a sound installation by Palomar, and another work from the Vargas art collection, Antonio Dumlao’s Sultana. Elkin’s dictionary is only one among many publications in the museum’s library attempting to define and translate the entire range of vocabulary related to the female figure. These terminologies depict stages in a woman’s life, bodily parts and functions, and occupational and mythical connections to society which vary between dialects and ethnicity. Palomar’s sound installation brings life to these written texts in aural form, reciting them in a manner which makes the litany of foreign words sound like poetic invocations to an eternal muse.
Accompanying the exhibition are the following collateral events: a walk-through with the two artists on 31 August, 3–4 PM during the formal opening of the exhibition; and an artist’s talk with Palomar and Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez on 14 September, 2–4 PM.
The exhibition formally opens on 31 August, 4:00 PM, with Hong Kong Intervention featuring Sun Yuan and Peng Yu.
Sandra Palomar (b. 1971, Manila) lived in France after a BFA in painting from the UP College of Fine Arts. Upon completion of a masteral degree, she received a prize for multi-media from the foundation of the Ecole Nationale Supérièure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Her work embraces new media and expressions (installation, performance, photography and video) having worked closely with French and foreign contemporary artists while attending the Ecole. She has a series of ongoing tableaux vivant that has been performed widely. Palomar endeavors to breach the gap between subject and experience in art through translation and dissemination. She founded and presides over a non-profit art association for Filipinos based in France (Sanlikha) while based in Manila. She considers her resettlement in the country as part of her art process. She is establishing studios in the country as a laboratory and training facility for cultural workers and fine artists. Nolet Soliven (b. 1965, Manila) holds a BA in economics and a BFA in painting from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He was a Fine Arts lecturer at the U.P. College of Baguio for four years before receiving a two-year study grant in 2003 to attend the Academia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. He has had a number of solo shows locally, most recently at Art Forum, Singapore.