Announcement, Art, Exhibit, Museum, UP Vargas Museum

Vargas x Met Exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila

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UP Vargas Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Manila opened two new exhibitions last 21 April. Curated by Dr. Patrick Flores, Fascination with Filipiniana: The Vargas Museum Collection and In the Wake of War and the Modern: Manila, 1941 to 1961 feature the comprehensive collection of the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

UPDATED_Vargas_Social-Media-Poster_FnF-VersionFascination with Filipiniana examines the body of works that Jorge Vargas accumulated through time, a period which coincided with significant years in Philippine history, before and after World War II. The collection of paintings, memorabilia, stamps, books, and coins highlights the intertwining role of Vargas as a civic leader, an art collector, and a Filipiniana connoisseur. With a historical figure passionate in both the arts and politics, the relevance of Vargas’s place in Philippine art history expands beyond the birth of a museum to rebuilding a nation from the ravages of war.

UPDATED_Vargas-Social-Media-PosterWeaving the collections of the Vargas Museum and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas together, In the Wake of War and the Modern: Manila, 1941 to 1961 revolves around the relationship between Jorge Vargas and the city of Manila. The exhibit traces remarkable milestones for Jorge Vargas: From 1941, when he was appointed as Mayor of Manila under the Japanese Forces to 1961, when he became Regent of the University of the Philippines, to which his collection was donated. During this period, what is now known as ‘Mabini Art’ prospered in the eponymous street, where the Metropolitan Museum of Manila is now located. The district surrounding Mabini Street burgeoned into a community that sold paintings bearing semblance to the style of Fernando Amorsolo, whose works were patronized by Jorge Vargas. The exhibit explores the history of Philippine art collection in the context of institutions such as the Vargas Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Manila, University of the Philippines, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Fascination with Filipiniana: The Vargas Museum Collection and In the Wake of War and the Modern: Manila, 1941 to 1961 is on view at the ground floor galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila until July 21. For inquiries: vargasmuseum@gmail.com or info@metmuseum.ph.

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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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