The recent Paghilom Arts Camp and Festival (February 9-11, 2017), included performance art as part of its program. Cross-disciplinary artist Mideo Cruz curated the series of performances that ran simultaneously with the camp activities.
The artist line-up included foreign artists: Daniela Beltrani (Italy), Harpreet Singh (India), Nanxi Liu and Qiao Shengxu (China), Rokko Juhász (Hungary) and local artists: Hayme Vincent, Maia San Diego, Creece Dimayuga, RV Sanchez, Wire Tuazon, Mael de Guzman, and Winston Hernandez.
Performances were staged in various venues within the Union Theological Seminary (UTS), Dasmariñas, Cavite. Each performance encapsulated the idea of healing of oneself, others, and the whole community through art.
Mideo Cruz, Racquel De Loyola and Kayumanggi Cruz
Mideo Cruz and Racquel de Loyola tied a rope around their body and pulled each other to opposing directions; while their daughter, Kayumanggi walked to and fro. This performance illustrated the dynamic struggle for cultural, economic, and political survival in the family as a basic institution of the society.
Watch the performance's video here: https://www.facebook.com/paghilomcavite/videos/300580493700757/
A Call from Within
Hayme Vincent and Maia San Diego
“A Call from Within” is a collaboration between of Hayme Vincent and Maia San Diego. They blindfolded themselves and used a variation of the Marco Polo game to locate each other in the “labyrinth” of JunYee’s installation. Instead of ‘marco’ and ‘polo’, they called ‘ohm’ to locate each other. ‘Ohm’, a chant commonly used for meditation, is the sound of the creation played by Shiva Nataraja in his fight against evil. Spectators and flags within the performance space symbolize the obstacles in the search for peace within the self.
Watch the performance's video here: https://youtu.be/_HtPCuPa_vs
This performance was inspired from the Egyptian god, Anubis, who weighs the dead soul’s heart against a feather. If it is lighter than a feather, then the soul proceeds to heaven, otherwise it will be devoured by a demon.
“Dressed in white, the colour of purity and innocence in contrast with the sanguine redness of my heart, I simply stood with my arms open, like the scale’s arms, holding a white feather and a piece of ice in the shape of a heart. I offered stillness, silence and a meditative opportunity to let my heart melt in the presence of others.”
For this performance, Creece Dimayuga collaborated with the audience. She shouted, “Payong, pahingi ng payong!” (Umbrella!Please give me an umbrella!) over and over again. She asked for umbrellas until it covered her body entirely and formed into a ball, protecting her from the blazing heat of the February sun.
She later uncovered herself and thanked those who lent her umbrellas. Here, she asks the question “Nature protects us and provides us with everything; but who will protect nature from us?”
Qiao Shengxu’s piece for the second day of the Paghilom festival, started by plucking leaves from thatch roof of a mud house. This became an improvised mask that he held against his face. He approached the viewers, intently gazing in their eyes through the makeshift mask. At the end of his performance he spits to the ground. The viewers were surprised that he, in fact, chewed chili peppers the entire time. It was painful yet beautiful.
Watch the performance's video here: https://youtu.be/LS27Q__YM0A
Kala is 'time' in Sanskrit. In this performance Beltrani waited for audience to approach her and participate in the performance. They are asked to sit across her and transfer water from one glass to another using a dropper. The participants unconsciously breathed in sync with the rhythm of the process of transferring water.
Watch the performance's video here: https://youtu.be/cPqrAGue8iM
The Afterlife Right After Life
This performance was inspired from “A Guided Experience” from The Book of the Community. Wire Tuazon of the Neo-Angono Artists Collective, walked along the edges of UTS Salakot Chapel rooftop and threw pieces of paper. Written on the paper are the words- 'destiny' and 'eternity'. For a brief moment, he courted danger and tilted his body towards the ground. Being in a precarious situation, reminds the individual of their mortality and vitality simultaneously.
Qiao staged his last performance at the photography installation that documented President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs. He walked among the images of the victims of extrajudicial killings and their family. Then he put his hand on the printed images [as though] to empathize with them (people captured in the photos).
Watch the performance's video here: https://youtu.be/FudQhXYodUs
Nanxi Liu and Rokko Juhász
The couple stood on across each other, both carrying a block of wood over their shoulders. Slowly, they walk towards the center. Upon coming face to face, they wrote the word ‘same’ onto the other’s foreheads. They continued to walk side by side towards the same direction, then parted ways. The artists still bearing the weight of the block of wood stood motionless a foot apart. An onlooker entered the performance space and took the block of wood from Nanxi, and both shared the burden of lifting the wood.
This performance ponders on the philosophical notion of 'identity'. What makes each individual unique and what makes them the 'same' with others.
Watch the performance's video here: https://youtu.be/Lmf0tjrWJeY
Harpeet Singh invited the spectators to collaborate with him during his performance. They were asked to detach longs strands of paper that connected his turban to the roof. He bared his arms and revealed the eggs strapped on them, he also requested help for their removal. For the finale, he chopped wild flowers that were gathered from the venue grounds.
Watch the performance's video here: https://youtu.be/PVVvBMPPjfo
Cebu-based artist RV Sanchez staged his performance during dinner time. He ate his food facing the garbage bins, with a video flies projected on him. The galling noises from the video and the disturbing combination of images created an uncomfortable atmosphere. This performance evokes the experience of being constantly seduced by fetish-driven spectacles.
Watch the performance's video here: https://youtu.be/eVJBbOAsxP4