Month for Art

It was a busy two months of lectures and talks, conversations and dialogues, exhibition openings and site visits. Here are a few:

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Visiting what remained of art works for Field Notes at the Makiling Botanic Gardens, Los Banos Laguna
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After a talk at Nomina Nuda with colleagues from UP Los Banos and artists for the Field Notes project
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At Alfredo Esquillo’s ‘Continuing Spirit’ retrospective at Arete: written on several works in the past including ‘Piety and Place’ for an exhibition at the National University of Singapore Museum. I wrote ‘Pilgrim’s Gift’ for forthcoming catalogue.
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In conversation with artist Leo Abaya on his ‘Demograpi, atbp’ exhibition, curated by Patrick Flores at Tin-aw Art Gallery
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After our video shoot for LAWAS Public Art at the UP Diliman campus grounds, with co-curator Cecilia de la Paz, artists Lee Paje and Mark Justiniani. Our closing event will be first week December with a program conceptualised by Franchesca Casauay.

 

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Fickle skies, keen energy, restive forms

The skies were fickle – clearing one moment and pouring the next but our enthusiasm was steadfast. Encounters happened as planned last 13 June! It was choreographed by Ea Torrado and performed by Daloy Dance Company.

The rain rendered the performance vigour. Ea Torrado likened it to ‘dwelling the womb’ specifically when the dancers entered the grove, alternating between movement and stillness, flitting in and about the goddesses, rendering air and space legible with movement and voices.

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They emerged from the Vargas Museum’s west porch in two files, chanting and marching. Their animal heads were curious, if not amusing counterpoints to their martial like movements. All was pulsing energy pronounced through strength of limbs that sliced rain and air, the rhythm of dancers’ voices lent spark to a fast encroaching night.

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It is this straining against odds and the very elements that was the most remarkable character of the performance. We were drenched but oddly entranced by bodies weaving in and out of the grove, around the goddesses’ inert and viewers’ unsettled yet expectant bodies.  This atmosphere of chance placed in relief the exactitude the piece demanded of dancers. The dimming skies and pouring rain echoed their feral cries and sober silence, their rolling and falling forms contrasted strongly with austere marches and lively gestures.

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It was an evening of strong and memorable contrasts, the weather and the piece coming together fully, eliciting from us a similar straining – because how else can life be without constraints? It is only in the latter where we come together through the wholeness promised by the goddesses Pleiades, however fleetingly.

Encounters was a singular offering to this moment.

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Photos Eric Guazon