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.

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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DANCING THE SHRIMP
(The Tactical Improvisation of Post Colonial Space Mix) 
JON CUYSON
1F Galleries
11 August – 15 September 2016 
The Vargas Museum is pleased to present Dancing The Shrimp (The Tactical Improvisation of Post Colonial Space Mix) opening on August 11, 2016 at 4 pm at 1F Galleries. The exhibition features Jon Cuyson’s new works of fragmented installations that combine painting, sculpture, sound, photography, performance and scenography. Jon Cuyson transforms the entire ground floor of the Vargas Museum into a space in flux, slipping between abstraction, figuration, ready made, still life and movement. Cuyson is interested in the appropriation and re appropriation of found texts, images and objects and their underlying social and psychological significations through the insertion of fiction and personal subjectivities as a means of destabilizing our perception of time, memory and space. 
The artist’s investigation of the 19th century Filipino settlement in the bayous of Louisiana led him to an image of settlers laboring under the sun removing shrimp shells using their feet referred to as “Dancing The Shrimp”. This found document serves as the point of departure for the exhibition. Interwoven in the exhibition is the narrative of the fictional character ‘”Kerel”, a trans Filipino seafarer who travels back and forth time further complicating our understanding of the mechanisms of the past with the present, authenticity and invention. Dancing The Shrimp (The Tactical Improvisation of Post Colonial Space Mix) brings together Jon Cuyson’s interest in the relationship between history, impermanence, migration, and identity formation. 
Born and educated in the Philippines, Jon Cuyson has participated in exhibitions in New York and Europe since 2004. His works employ different techniques and media including texts, photographs, drawings, artist books, paintings and installations. Jon Cuyson received a MFA from Columbia University in New York City in 2010 and currently lives and works in Manila, Philippines. 
For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 928-1927 (direct line), (+632) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunk line). We congratulate Paulo Vinluan for being shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards 2016. Vinluan presented "See Waves" at the 1F Galleries of Vargas Museum last May-June 2015. Photos of "See Waves" can be viewed at http://bit.ly/2ahGppH. More information about Ateneo Art Awards can be found at http://ateneoartgallery.org/ateneo-art-awards/. Happening now at the Vargas Museum: J Pacena's Artist Presentation Artist Presentation on Saturday, July 9 at 2:30pm. Activity is free and open to the public. Pre-register via vargasmuseum@gmail.com. Schedule advisory: We are closed on July 6, 2016, Wednesday, for Eidl Fitr. Regular operations resume on July 7, Thursday. The "Perya" group show organized by CANVASph is on its fourth week and will be on view until July 9, 2016. Visiting days and hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm

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