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Transpersonal, instructions


fb banner transpersonal dec 2018 extended 9mar2019

UP Vargas Museum presents Transpersonal, instructions
Exhibition Run: 14 December 2018 – 1 February 2019 
extended viewing until 9 March 2019
Opening Reception: 14 December, Friday at 6pm

The symposium Transpersonal>Postnormal Times will be held from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday, 15 December 2018. Click on the link for registration instructions.

A group exhibition and symposium at the UP Vargas Museum.

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.

Curated by Dr. Stephen Wilson in conjunction with the University of the Philippines Visiting Professor Program.

Transpersonal proposes to work within the cultural context of Manila as part of a transregional conversation. The term transpersonal relays states of consciousness beyond the limits of personal and artistic identity. These may include peak and spiritual experiences including near-death phenomena, nomophobia and political isolation. Curatorially, transpersonal contains an awareness above the usual remits of individuality brought on by the experience of a social crisis related to spiritual, ethical and relational extremes of art and contemporary life.

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. Within the political and environmental present, discursive forms of governance are seldom disrupted. Confronting neoliberal capitalism involves undoing a deeper canon of the so–called Western narratives of universalization and automation. 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.

Transpersonal activities invite 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. The “instructions” weave together a transpersonal, primary initiative of cultural and transnational exchange, that repeatedly encounter a restless ecology of contemporary art. Transpersonal, instructions looks with particular, collaborative attention, at non-Western difference and under–represented geographies in art like the communities working in the Philippines today.

Transpersonal>Postnormal Times is a one-day symposium held on 15 December and includes public events, lectures, instructions, panel meditations alongside sonic scores in an open exchange. The symposium centres on the changing conditions for artists practising today in Manila and surrounding provinces and those working outside of the Philippines. It will be held in the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center and will be open to all who register attendance.

Registration can be completed online: http://bit.ly/Transpersonal15Dec

The symposium will feature a keynote presentation from Elizabeth A. Povinelli of the Karrabing Film Collective. Full line-up of speakers and other event details will be posted here.


A dedicated publication will accompany Transpersonal, instructions produced by the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center in 2019.

Transpersonal, instructions is generously organized in partnership with Patrick D. Flores at the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center alongside the University of Philippines UP Visiting Professorship Program and the Office of the Chancellor of UP Diliman. It is kindly made possible by the Artists International Development Fund from the Arts Council England and The British Council and with the kind support of the Flemish Authorities and Carol Egan Interiors.

Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center is a center for Philippine art and culture: its main thrusts are research, exhibition and education. It houses the collection of Mr. Jorge B. Vargas (1890–1980), the country’s first Executive Secretary and alumnus of the University of the Philippines. Located in the UP campus, it is also a venue of changing exhibitions and offers spaces for workshops and community arts programs.

Image: Mark Salvatus, Detail from “Museo Banahaw Project,” 2010–ongoing. C-print, 40 x 60 cm. Courtesy of the artist.


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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