Art, Exhibit, West Wing Gallery (Edge)

The President’s Office

08 January – 09 February 2013
G/F West Wing Gallery

Opening cocktails
08 January 2013, Tuesday, 4PM

Malacanang Palace, as the site of the Office of the President is recognized as a space related to authority, power, and a democratic tradition, among other things. However, while officially a space that is open to all, the exigencies of practical operation and security effectively bar the majority from entering the space. Hence, the seat of power is obscured from scrutiny save for a few glimpses as can be gained from occasional public broadcasts or inferred from documents such as those that roughly describe it in terms of architecture. Moreover, what we learn of what goes on in Malacañang is understandably mediated by discourses of confidentiality and national security and as such is almost always in shades of carefully controlled publicity. In addition to this heavy mediation, the permanent barricade preventing access to Malacañang from Mendiola cannot but add a sense of exclusion that compounds our perceived distance from the seat of power.

Buen Calubayan, Landscape Eternal 1, Oil on canvas, 24 x 72 in

Buen Calubayan, Landscape Eternal 1, Oil on canvas, 24 x 72 in

Not unlike Bluebeard’s forbidden room, such spaces induce an explorative curiosity in those barred from entry. More importantly, this exclusion renders Malcañang as an effective blind spot in the imagination, as a space upon which we can but project images based on related histories, hearsay, or suppositions.

It is with consideration for this character of Malacañang as an imaginative blind spot that the participating artists took on the task of representing the Presidential Office. Their construction of the interior features and contents of the Presidential Office are informed by their perceptions of its functions, significations, and history. In turn, as representations that serve as reflections of their own imaginations, the works also function as indices of the expectations, fantasies, and perceived relationships that overlay our collective imaging of the seat of power.

The exhibition is part of a working series entitled ‘Blind Spots,’ which explores restricted spaces as sites of imaginative construction.

The President’s Office runs until 09 February 2013. For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at +632 928-1927 (direct line), +63 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline), +63 928-1925 (fax) or send an e-mail to You may also check our website at or like us at for more information.

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.



  1. Pingback: Lupa: Struggle for Land Exhibit at Vargas Museum | ISLANG MALAYA - March 10, 2013

  2. Pingback: Exhibit: The President’s Office at Vargas Museum | ISLANG MALAYA - March 10, 2013

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#DexterSy's TERRAIN show at the 3F South Wing Gallery runs until June 3, 2016. Sy will be an Artist Facilitator of the 11th Junior Museum Guides program of the Vargas Museum in celebration of this year's #internationalmuseumday. The works of Sy are in conversation with the Vargas #archives. Curator: Ryan Francis Reyes with support from The Working Animals Art Projects #contemporarartandsociallife #kinship #abstractions #pattern #cartographic The word is popularly used today to describe out-of-line vehicles and operators, those that stray from regular or registered routes. In the chaotic movement of the metro traffic, colorum vehicles pose threats to the already compromised order and safety of our streets. It originated from a corrupted Latin phrase commonly ending Christian prayers—saecula saeculorum—and first given to various religious groups that emerged outside the control of the Catholic Church whose membership mostly consisted of poor peasants in the countryside or laborers in the city. These groups staged several uprisings and revolts against powerful institutions, be it the church or the state. As such, colorum carries with it a connotation of going against the mainstream, a set of diverse and alternative tracks that offer deviation from the norm. 
Colorum is used in this exhibition to introduce works of young and emerging artists traversing diverse artistic trajectories, but gathered as a collective of incipient voices aiming to break away from mainstream and established paths. This project is an attempt to mark out new and alternative routes in the contemporary art scene. The collective calls itself The Working Animals Art Projects, a name that highlights the energy and endurance of its members in carrying out its vision. Coinciding with the highly politicized atmosphere of the election season, participating artists offer a range of tangents and allusions to a troubled society, immersed in a glut of stimuli, and distracted by competing revelations of reality.

curated by Ruel Caasi

participating artists:
Keb Cerda
Ronson Culibrina
Dale Erispe
Johanna Helmuth
Yeo Kaa
John Marin

COLORUM runs until June 3, 2016 at the 1F Galleries and is supported by The Working Animals Art Projects. For group tours and other information, contact us at 928-1927. The galleries of Vargas Museum are open for viewing from 9am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. Museum fee: P30.00 - general public, P20.00 - UP students, faculty, alumni and affiliates RIGHT OF WAY: #LJAblola's solo show at the 3F Landing and Hallway runs until June 3! Ablola is also one of the five Artist Facilitators of the 11th Junior Museum Guides workshops in celebration of #2016InternationalMuseumDay at Vargas Museum. More info of her show at Facebook. Show is curated by Ryan Francis Reyes and supported by The Working Animals Art Projects. #urbanlandscape #papercut #acrylic #ink #posterized #contemporaryart #Filipinostreetlife "Colorum" group show at the 1F Galleries runs until June 3! Check our Facebook event page for the latest updates. #KebCerda #RonsonCulibrina #DaleErispe #YeoKaa #JohannaHelmuth #JohnMarin. Curated by #RuelCaasi through The Working Animals Art Projects

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