Art, Exhibit, West Wing Gallery (Edge)

The President’s Office

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 vargasmuseum@gmail.com. You may also check our website at http://vargasmuseum.upd.edu.ph or like us at www.facebook.com/vargasmuseum.upd for more information.

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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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"Transpersonal, instructions" opens tonight at 6pm! Participants include Oreet Ashery, Revital Cohen & Tuur Van Balen, Merlinda Bobis, Patrick D. Flores, Eisa Jocson, The Karrabing Film Collective, Dana Klisanin, Leslie Kulesh, Andy Lacey, Russ Ligtas, Raquel de Loyola, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Mark Salvatus, Evelyn Toacheng Wang, and César H. Villanueva. Eisa Jocson performs a new work tonight at 7:30pm. "Transpersonal>Postnormal Times" symposium will happen tomorrow. Registration is already closed. Seats will be given to walk-in visitors should online registrants fail to register before 10am.
"Transpersonal, instructions" opens tomorrow, Friday at 6pm. Eisa Jocson performs a new work at 7:30pm. The exhibit reception is open to the public. Vehicle access to the museum will be through the southeast gate near the CAL Building. Please refer to our Facebook page for the map. Registration for the "Symposium: Transpersonal>Postnormal Times" on Saturday is already closed. Seats will be given to walk-in visitors should online registrants fail to register before 10am.
ADVISORY: The museum will be closed tomorrow. Regular operations resume on Tuesday, 11 December 2018.
Advisory for the Closing Event of LAWAS tomorrow, 7 December 2018.
Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli of Karrabing Film Collective keynotes “Transpersonal>Postnormal Times” Symposium at the Vargas Museum on 15 December 2018. Registration can be completed online: http://bit.ly/Transpersonal15Dec. The symposium is free and open to the public. Priority seating will be given to those who register early and online. Transpersonal>Postnormal Times is a one-day public symposium to support the exhibition Transpersonal, instructions. The symposium will be held on 15 December from 10am to 5pm and includes public events, lectures, instructions, panel meditations alongside sonic scores in the open exchange of the project. The symposium centers on the changing conditions for artists practising today in Manila and surrounding provinces and those working outside of the Philippines. Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli is an esteemed anthropologist and the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology in Columbia University, New York. Povinelli describes her practice: “My writing has focused on developing a critical theory of late liberalism that would support an anthropology of the otherwise. Informed primarily by the traditions of American pragmatism and continental immanent theory and grounded in the circulation of values, materialities, and socialities. This potential theory has unfolded primarily from within a sustained relationship with Indigenous colleagues in north Australia and across five books, numerous essays, and four films with the Karrabing Film Collective. Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism was the 2017 recipient of the Lionel Trilling Book Award. Karrabing films were awarded the 2015 Visible Award and the 2015 Cinema Nova Award Best Short Fiction Film, Melbourne International Film Festival and have shown internationally including in the Berlinale Forum Expanded, Sydney Biennale; MIFF, the Tate Modern, documenta-14, and the Contour Biennale.” Her publications include: Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism; Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism; The Empire of Love: Toward a Theory of Intimacy, Genealogy, and Carnality, A Public Planet Book, among others.
The Vargas Permanent Art Collection at the 2F Main Gallery is open for viewing from Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-5pm except holidays. For tours, please e-mail us at vargasmuseum@gmail.com. "Transpersonal, instructions" will open at the 1F and 3F Galleries on 14 December 2018. More information will be posted on the project's Facebook Event Page.

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