Art, Exhibit, North Wing Gallery (Landing), South Wing Gallery

Enjoy Division

13 October – 03 November 2011
3F North and South Wing Galleries

The Kitchen Sink

This exhibition was initially hosted late last August by Light & Space Contemporary, an artist-run space. Two days after the exhibition opening, the gallery, in an exercise of managerial fiat, banned the show’s curatorial essay and took it down without prior consultation or discussion. This lack of consultation prompted the publication of the essay online accompanied by a call for dialogue.  When asked for an explanation by the exhibiting group, the gallery responded to the group in private and cited its right to remove any material that they deemed harmful (nakakasira) to the gallery and persons associated with it. The question of why and how the said essay warranted such a response was never sufficiently answered.  Upon being told that the essay was integral to framing the exhibition’s critical stance, the management responded only by saying that if that was the case, the show itself was “lame.”  With this, the artists collectively decided to pull the exhibition out of the gallery.

Apparently unsettled by the position they found themselves in, and facing inquiry from the artistic community, the management failed to produce any coherent defense of their actions. What ensued instead was a confused mix of profanity, attempts to defame (calling us anarchists, thieves, vandals) and discredit (accusing us of groupthink), red baiting (calling us communists), and threats of violence, all while invoking the gentrified auspice of “maximum respect.” It was also suggested that we find another gallery to ‘play with.’  We did.

The Book

The exhibit was initially conceived as an opposition to the self-serving distortions foisted upon the Philippine art scene by persons such as Malaysian curator Adeline Ooi whose statements in a local daily sought to promote a particular group of artists by smugly denigrating another.  As such, the exhibit sought to present the possibility of critical exchanges between different approaches and modalities of practice while espousing a broader examination of the interpenetrating influences that inform Philippine contemporary art.

Since then, the actions of the gallery management have exposed their cooland pluralist pose of tolerance as part of that old courtly sham that allows artists and audiences to elide debate and criticism in their exchanges.  Pending a concrete basis for rejecting the exhibition’s critical stance, we cannot but surmise that by their actions they sought to protect their interests as a commercial space at the cost of fostering criticality.  While this may be expected of highly commercial galleries and showrooms, this puts paid to any pretense of Light & Space Contemporary being an ‘alternative’ space.  Such a mix of censorship and thuggery, masked by an appeal to “maximum respect,” contributes to an anti-intellectual climate that stifles discourse and critical exchange.  This cannot be abided. Criticism, as an intervention in the ways with which we see, think, and act upon the world, as the evaluative mirror and discursive hammer that shapes thought and guides action, is indispensible to social practices such as art production.Put simply, those who suppress criticism and discourse outright have no business running a gallery, and cannot but renounce any claim to art.

In remounting this exhibit, we do not merely wish to recoup lost exhibition time.  We wish to stress the importance of a vigilant engagement with art practices, be it in terms of producing objects, performances, or texts, or in the varied relationships and interactions that constitute the field of art.  It is with this vigilance as well as the possibility of discourse and criticism upon which it is founded that we are able to render the field of art legible and cogent, give it conceptual shape and gravity, and make matter out of so much light and space.

-Antares Gomez Bartolome


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.


One thought on “Enjoy Division

  1. “Intuitive space” is merely the illusion space created by using artistic methods to trick the viewer into seeing depth, volume and mass on a two dimensional surface. Intuitive space is sensed or ”felt” on a two dimensional plane. Intuitive methods of space control include overlapping, transparency, and other applications of spatial proportion. In a “Theory of Light and Shade” I will show how to create intuitive space by using “Light Logic”.

    Posted by las artes | November 12, 2011, 6:10 am

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CANVAS - Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development and UP Vargas Museum will be holding a storytelling activity on FRIDAY, 20 JULY 2018 at 4pm, together with the Araneta Foundation and Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. The first 80 kids to register (for free) at Vargas Museum will receive copies of Karapat-Dapat, a book on the rights of the child. Regular entrance fee for adults/parents apply. Viewing of Tumba Tumba exhibition is extended until 6pm for this event. 21 JULY (SATURDAY) events: 1) Tumba Tumba Free Book Day for first 500 children of U.P. employees, until supply lasts 2) Tumba Tumba activity: The Author's Hour 2 with Genaro Gojo Cruz at 1:30pm
July 18, Wednesday: In compliance with U.P. memorandum received before noon, the museum is closed this afternoon. Stay alert and safe. Please check our Facebook page for the latest news and announcements.
@TiesofHistory #Artists #Profiles: ANUSAPATI (b. 1957) was born in Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia and now lives and works in Yogyakarta. He completed his studies at ASRI Yogyakarta in 1983, and at the School of Art and Design, Pratt Institute, New York, USA in 1990. Currently, he is a lecturer at the Faculty of Art, Indonesian Art Institute (ISI) Yogyakarta. He works extensively with bamboo and wood (especially teak wood) as manifestation of his affinities to nature. In addition, he works with bronze and found objects and also creates installation works. His works have been exhibited in Indonesia, the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan and are part of institutional collections, including that of the Indonesian National Gallery, Jakarta and the Langgeng Gallery, Magelang in Indonesia; the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; and the City Government of Kitamoto-Shi, Saitama- Ken, Japan. Read the full Ties of History press release here: UP Vargas Museum FB Event Page: Ties of History: Art in Southeast Asia [UP Vargas Museum]
@tiesofhistory #Artists #Profiles AMANDA HENG (b. 1951) began her practice in the late 1980s, an epochal moment in Singapore art history that saw the beginnings of contemporary art, during which she worked in performance, installation, and other multi-disciplinary projects. Her work deals with tensions between Eastern and Western values, traditions, identity politics, and gender roles in the context of the multi-cultural and fast changing society of Singapore. Her recent work focuses on the issues of history, memory, communication and human relationships in urban condition and information age. Amanda Heng is a full-time practitioner. She curates and organises art events and fora, and has lectured at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the National Institute of Education (NIE), and the LASALLE College of the Arts. Heng is one of the founding members of the Singapore art collectives The Artists Village and WITAS (Women in the Arts, Singapore). She received the prestigious Cultural Medallion award in 2010. Read the full Ties of History press release here:
@tiesofhistory #Artists #Profiles ROBERTO FELEO (b. 1954) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) in 1982 and studied Art History at the University of the Philippines (UP). He became a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 1988. He co-founded Pinta Nueve and became the chief designer of the Comite de Festejos. He has exhibited locally and internationally. Feleo is a professor of visual arts at the College of Fine Arts, UP Diliman. He has also served as a lecturer at the School of Fine Arts and Design at the Philippine Women’s University in Manila and at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Makiling, Laguna. Read the full Ties of History press release here:
The proof of concept show of CANVAS - Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development is on its last two weeks of run. Check our Facebook Events Tab for details of activities happening on Saturday, 21 July.

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