writings, projects and exhibitions of Clarissa Chikiamco

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

MM Yu's exhibition 'Standstill'

I wrote the text for MM Yu's exhibition, Standstill, at the Ateneo Art Gallery in June-July 2008. MM Yu was one of the winners of the 2007 Ateneo Art Awards and the recipient of the Awards' residency with Common Room in Bandung, Indonesia. Her exhibition was joined by two other shows of the other winners of the 2007 Ateneo Art Awards, Lyle Buencamino and Wawi Navarroza.

Below is the text and I've posted pictures of the catalogue. Pictures of the show are at MM Yu's multiply site.


In Standstill, MM Yu continues her incursion into photographs as visual traces of the past. In a collection which recalls her winning show Thoughts Collected, Recollected, Yu presents vivid and expectant photographs which act as significant pauses in time’s passage. The works, simultaneously documentary and fragmentary and taken by Yu at various places and in different periods of time, are jarring for their startling crispness and striking imagery that are juxtaposed with the vagueness of particular events each photograph alludes to. Nearly devoid of actual humans but rife with signs of human presence, the pictures quietly evidence the incidence of time in the overused, the disposed, the accumulated and the forgotten—normal visual occurrences in the hubbub of everyday life which can be, as Yu clearly sees, potentially poignant as well.

These random snippets of time enjoin the viewer to contemplative action and the absorption of the momentary. Acting like serene interludes to the mundane, these photographs surmise the plausible and are ultimately invitations to the latent possibilities held within the tranquil act of standing still.

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