writings, projects and exhibitions of Clarissa Chikiamco

Monday, January 31, 2011

Time Ruptures & Lee Aguinaldo

Please click here to read my article out in Philippine Star today: Time Ruptures & Lee Aguinaldo. I actually wrote another article, Lee Aguinaldo: Artist of Appropriation, that I was going to replace with this current article but I suppose my instructions about this weren't caught "in time", so to speak! (Forgive my puns on this Monday)





A few pictures of the Lee Aguinaldo works mentioned in my article... Above - The Freeze Freak, 1979, pencil, ink and acrylic, Private Collection. Left: Illuminated Interior, 1979, pencil and ink on photograph, Cultural Center of the Philippines Collection. Right: Erased Pieter de Hooch About 1978, 1978, reproduction with pencil drawing and erasures, Private Collection. Below:
Untitled (Face & figure studies), 1951, pen and ink on paper, 35 x 27.8 cm. Private Collection.

In other announcements, Tad Ermitano's first solo exhibition, Passage, the first of a series of solo exhibitions of artists presenting new video work as part of End Frame Video Art Project 3: Present, the festival I'm curating, has an extended run. You can still catch it at Pablo Gallery, C-11 South of Market Condominium, 11th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, until 5 February, Saturday. Gallery hours are Tues - Sat, 12 - 7 pm. Thanks to everyone who came to Tad's talk last Saturday!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

See you at Tad's talk later today and the closing of his show at Pablo Gallery, Fort Bonifacio! Later in the week, see you also at the book launch of The Life and Art of Lee Aguinaldo, published by Vibal Foundation in partnership with the Ateneo Art Gallery, on 3 February 2011, Thursday, 6 pm at Leong Hall, Ateneo de Manila University with a reception to follow at the Ateneo Art Gallery.

Vibal Foundation and Ateneo Art Gallery launch

“The Life and Art of Lee Aguinaldo” on February 3

For its 50th anniversary, the Ateneo Art Gallery is currently holding a retrospective exhibition of the works of Lee Aguinaldo, pioneer Philippine abstractionist, pop and conceptualist artist. The exhibit entitled “Lee Aguinaldo: In Retrospect” was opened to the public last October 26, 2010 and is on view until February 5, 2011.

On February 3, two days before the end of the retrospective, The Life and Art of Lee Aguinaldo, a long-overdue and much anticipated book, will be launched by Vibal Foundation, in partnership with the Ateneo Art Gallery.

The exhibit and the book are revealing excursions into the man and his art, the literary medium delving intimately into the art inside the man.

The book goes beyond the modernist breakthroughs that Lee bravely ushered into Philippine art even as it sheds light on the quintessential artist who lived and died for his art and personal convictions.

Leopoldo “Lee” Aguinaldo was born in 1933 in New York to a wealthy Filipino father whose family’s dry goods business was among the top fifty corporations in the Philippines, and to a Russian–American mother. He studied high school under the rigid discipline of Culver Military Academy in Indiana. Upon his return to Manila, his father forced him to take up a degree in commerce. This was obviously meant to prepare him for the managerial task he was expected to perform in the family business.

It was the 1950s, the tall and dashing mestizo, who had been a passionate self–taught artist since he was a young boy, assumed the split roles of a corporate man by day and an artist by night. He gained notoriety for taking patrons of his early paintings for night cruises aboard his yacht, and also for his penchant for parties, expensive cars, and all the decadent pleasures that a young man from Manila’s elite could enjoy.

It was also during this time when he developed close friendships with Fernando Zobel, Roberto Chabet, Pandy Aviado, and other prominent personalities in Philippine art.

He resigned from the family business to pursue a life solely dedicated to art, much to his father’s chagrin. He continued his solo exhibitions and joining group shows while raising a family.

The renegade’s early works were heavily influenced by the spontaneous action paintings of Jackson Pollock. His style later evolved during his Linear period, when the impulsive renderings of his previous creations gave way to meticulously minimalist and geometric abstractions, without losing his preference for bold colors.

The consummate artist prodigiously created artworks until he underwent a major heart operation in 1994 which incapacitated him. In spite of Lee Aguinaldo’s long-established name in the art world and the high prices patrons paid for his works, the last four decades of his bohemian life were marked by a series of news-making evictions he challenged until his death.

Lee Aguinaldo died in 2007 at the age of 73 amidst relatively modest circumstances in a small house in Quezon City — far removed from the affluent and reckless youth who was heir apparent to the business empire and properties of one of the country’s wealthiest families.

The indelible legacy of the trailblazing Filipino artist is laid out for future generations in the book The Life and Art of Lee Aguinaldo which will be launched on February 3, 2010, 6:00 PM at the Ateneo Art Gallery. The book is the fourth in Vibal Foundation’s Arte Filipino series on masters of Philippine art and will be available at the retail price of P2,900 in bookstores. The Ateneo Art Gallery is located on the second floor of the Rizal Library Special Collections Building, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Call (632) 426-6488 for details.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

End Frame Video Art Project 3 Launches with Passage, the first solo exhibition of Tad Ermitaño


END FRAME VIDEO ART PROJECT 3: PRESENT
Launches with PASSAGE, the first solo exhibition of Tad Ermitaño
15-29 January 2011, Pablo Gallery Fort Bonifacio


End Frame Video Art Project 3: Present, a Philippine video art festival, commences this month as the third edition and new format of the video art festival which took place in 2006 and 2007. Presented by Visual Pond, the theme Present refers to the current project’s focus on selected Philippine contemporary artists’ practices in video art. Throughout the festival, each artist stages a show presenting new video work in various venues from January 2011 to January 2012.

The festival proudly launches with Passage, a solo exhibition by Tad Ermitaño, opening on January 15 at Pablo Gallery, Fort Bonifacio. A site-specific work responsive to the two rooms of Pablo and the stairs between them, Passage utilizes multiple projections and video mapping technology in a crossover of fairy tales and science fiction. Ermitaño, who has studied philosophy, biology and filmmaking, has participated in several local and international group exhibitions and film festivals, including the 2002 videoart.mov, the 2004 Hong Kong International Film Festival, the 2006 Ogaki Biennale, the 2007 Dime a Dozen at Lopez Museum, the 2008 Inter-society of Electronic Arts juried exhibition and recently, the Hear to Ear exhibition of Fete dela Wsk. Passage marks the first solo exhibition of this media artist, running until 29 January 2011 with a closing talk by the artist at 5:30 pm.

Pablo Gallery, located at C-11 South of Market Condominium, 11th corner 26th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12 noon to 7:00 pm, tel. no. (632) 506-0602. Other confirmed artists presenting new works for End Frame 3 include Manny Montelibano, Claro Ramirez, Kiri Dalena and Kaloy Olavides with the full schedule and line-up to be announced soon. For inquiries on the project, call +63917-5357955 or email visualpond@gmail.com. End Frame Video Art Project 3: Present is curated by Clarissa Chikiamco; Passage is with thanks to Green Papaya Art Projects.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Reflections: End Frame Video Art Project 3: Present

I am curating the third edition of the Philippine video art festival my friends -Rica Estrada, Tenten Mina - and I initiated and did in 2006 and 2007 as a project for our sometimes active non-profit organization Visual Pond. After a hiatus of how many years, the third edition is a new format for End Frame Video Art Project. I chose to abolish the call for entries because, while it was a good opportunity to learn of others who do video and was more democratic (even if entries passed through a selection committee), the resulting exhibition was a mixed bag. In a criticism of our own project, I felt it lacked making a statement, cluttered with so many things. In retrospect, regardless of quality, each work suffered from a "mish mash" context. It was good for these works to be seen and to be able to seen in so many different reiterations by people of different backgrounds (artists, filmmakers, students). However, whatever strong point each work could make was lost or weakened by being amongst other works saying different things.

When I returned from Australia in late 2009, Rica urged us to do a third edition, saying so many people asked about End Frame while I was away. I was hesitant but considered the possibility based on conditions of changing the format. At first, I wanted to do a small group exhibition based on a particular theme. I was not one who believed that an event needs to be bigger each time next time around (and that bigger means better). Yet, while I was doing research on ideas for the show, I realized that I needed to do so much more research on artists and their video works here. I felt a little strange about subjugating artists and their works under a theme for a group show when I still had more to learn. Perhaps for the future but for now, I had more to learn.

So I thought about devising a format which would allow each artist to speak in his/her own context. The festival then would be a series of solo exhibitions of artists who've worked with video and would present a new video work. Working with each artist would also provide the necessary avenues for research (or, at the very least, identification of these avenues). But of course, there are still questions - which artists? How many? There was also the issue of the manageability and duration of the project.

Since the full line-up has yet to be announced and I'm still in the planning phase, I will write more on this next time. I can say though for now that I have decided to keep a private journal documenting my thoughts on this project as it is staged to 2012. And it is being launched this Saturday, 15 January, 7 pm with Tad Ermitaño's first solo exhibition at Pablo Gallery in Fort Bonifacio. Tad uses projections to make a site-specific work responsive to Pablo's two rooms and the stairway in between them.

I have gone back to some conversations I had with Tad in 2009 when I was writing a paper on him for my media art/cinema class (which I eventually revised to present at the Second Philippine Art Studies conference in February 2010). I plan to edit these conversations and put it in the End Frame 3 catalogue which will be released at the end of the project, to be available in online platforms like Kindle or the ipad.

My research continues as I leave next month for my residency at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, researching on their video art collection. I also have a project in Korea after that but I will be back still in time for our humid Manila summers. I will though continue to update throughout.

Press release on End Frame 3 and Tad's show below:

End Frame Video Art Project 3: Present
, a Philippine video art festival, commences this month as the third edition and new format of the video art festival which took place in 2006 and 2007. Presented by Visual Pond, the theme Present refers to the current project’s focus on selected Philippine contemporary artists’ practices in video art. Throughout the festival, each artist stages a show presenting new video work in various venues from January 2011 to January 2012.

The festival proudly launches with Passage, a solo exhibition by Tad Ermitaño, opening on January 15 at Pablo Gallery, Fort Bonifacio. A site-specific work responsive to the two rooms of Pablo and the stairs between them, Passage utilizes multiple projections and video mapping technology in a crossover of fairy tales and science fiction. Ermitaño, who has studied philosophy, biology and filmmaking, has participated in several local and international group exhibitions and film festivals, including the 2002 videoart.mov, the 2004 Hong Kong International Film Festival, the 2006 Ogaki Biennale, the 2007 Dime a Dozen at Lopez Museum, the 2008 Inter-society of Electronic Arts juried exhibition and recently, the Hear to Ear exhibition of Fete dela Wsk. Passage marks the first solo exhibition of this media artist, running until 29 January 2011 with a closing talk by the artist at 5:30 pm.

Pablo Gallery, located at C-11 South of Market Condominium, 11th corner 26th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12 noon to 7:00 pm, tel. no. (632) 506-0602. Other confirmed artists presenting new works for End Frame 3 include Manny Montelibano, Claro Ramirez, Kiri Dalena and Kaloy Olavides with the full schedule and line-up to be announced soon. For inquiries on the project, call +63917-5357955 or email visualpond@gmail.com. End Frame Video Art Project 3: Present is curated by Clarissa Chikiamco; Passage is with thanks to Green Papaya Art Projects.