1F Galleries, 3F Galleries, Announcement, Art, Exhibit, Lobby, South Wing Gallery, UP Vargas Museum, West Wing Gallery (Edge)

TIE A STRING AROUND THE WORLD

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Tie A String Around the World
1F and 3F Galleries
UP Vargas Museum
Opening on 09 December 2016, Friday at 6pm
Exhibition runs until 18 February 2017

The UP Vargas Museum opens Tie A String Around the World on 9 December at 6 in the evening. This homecoming re-stages the Philippines’ official exhibition at the Venice Art Biennale in 2015, fifty-one years after its first national participation in 1964. It will present the works of Manuel Conde, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Manny Montelibano, and Jose Tence Ruiz; and a documentation of the collateral initiations of David Medalla in collaboration with Adam Nankervis. Objects that broaden the discourse on worldmaking, such as maps and the lingling-o, as discussed in the Pavilion catalogue will also be exhibited.

Tie A String Around the World is a line taken from the Manuel Conde film Genghis Khan in which the eponymous conqueror promises her beloved to conquer the world and lay it at her feet. The exhibition pivots on Conde’s seminal film, which was reedited and annotated by the American writer-critic James Agee, and screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Venice Film Festival in 1952. Conde collaborated with Carlos Francisco, who co-wrote the script and produced the set designs. Recalling this passage by which Venice first recognized the country through the moving image, the exhibition invites reflection on the changing configurations of the world via the Philippines, and the contentious meanings of nation, border, and territory.

Jose Tence Ruiz responds to Genghis Khan by evoking a spectral ship made of metal and wood, and calls it Shoal. The installation references the vessel Sierra Madre, a military garrison and security detachment deployed by the Philippine government in 1999 that floats on contested waters, and prevails both as “saga and shipwreck.” Manny Montelibano’s multi-channel video titled A Dashed State focuses on the West Philippine Sea, part of the disputed South China Sea. Juxtaposing images of a lush locale and the seemingly slow and ordinary life in the islands with the sound of epics and actual radio frequencies from China, Montelibano’s work probes the history of worldmaking and the history of the sea in the long duration and in relation to the formation of empires, nation-states, and regions.

The exhibition will run until 18 February 2017. Please visit vargasmuseum.upd.edu.ph and the Vargas Museum’s official Facebook page. E-mail the museum at vargasmuseum@gmail.com or call at (+632) 928-19-27 for more information.

Tie A String Around the World homecoming exhibition is organized by the National Commission of Culture and the Arts, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, in partnership with the UP Vargas Museum

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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" is an invitation to participants to experiment with the boundaries between accepted notions of authorship and audience expectation—to play with the performativity of their roles and rethink the various modes of attention they are setting up. Merlinda Bobis is featured in "Transpersonal, instructions" through her works "River, River" and "An Altar for the Desaparecidos." In the video, she performs a retrieval in her one-woman play which she adapted from her novel "Fish-Hair Woman" (2012) and performed in Australia, Philippines, Spain, US, Canada and Singapore (2009-2014). This short film is a document of the 2008 creative development of "River, River" towards a possible community play in collaboration with Filipino migrants in Campbelltown and the Illawarra (New South Wales, Australia) including the Bitabara family, and with filmmaker Virginia Hilyard, sound artist Jane Ulman, composer Sarah de Jong and the Campbelltown Arts Center. "River, River" is a story of mourning and remembering to restore the disappeared to their loved ones during a war that happened more than three decades ago. But this weeping-singing continues to this day and across geographies to retrieve all our beloved lost to war and armed conflict, to summary executions and extra-judicial killings, and to the mindless violation of the lives, well-being and dignity of humans and non-humans alike. We retrieve the bodies, we restore the river.
A few copies of TK Sabapathy's "Writing the Modern" are still available. To purchase, please contact Veronica at 928-1927 during office hours.
ADVISORY: The museum will be closed tomorrow, 16 January 2019, Wednesday, from 12 noon onwards for maintenance. Regular hours resume on Thursday.
"Transpersonal, instructions" is on view at the 1F and 3F Galleries until 1 February 2019. For group tour bookings, please contact vargasmuseum@gmail.com. "Transpersonal, instructions" is an evolving transnational research project that engages with public lectures, exhibition making, education, sonic scores and publishing in contemporary art. The exhibition arises from a series of public lectures at the ICA in London on the production of psychotechnologies, cyber addictions, material feminisms, citizenship and bioinsecurity. "Transpersonal, instructions" encourages a binding thread that resists and resets a world view on uneasiness. It is partly proposing a challenge to the current world order by providing a window into anthropological entanglements, for example those affecting indigenous lives. Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen are London-based artists working across objects, installation, and film. Their practice explores processes of production as cultural, social and political practices; following geological, geopolitical and biological strains within the manufactured landscape to create work that questions the context of its own becoming.
Elizabeth Povinelli of the Karrabing Film Collective gave the keynote address at the "Transpersonal>Postnormal Times", a symposium held on 15 December 2018. This program is the collateral activity of the exhibition "Transpersonal, instructions" which is on view at the Vargas Museum until 1 February 2019.
The Vargas Museum Permanent Art Collection at the 2F Main Gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-5pm. For group tour bookings, please send your inquiries to vargasmuseum@gmail.com.

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