Public Art Installation
OFF SITE/ OUT OF SIGHT
Venue: Communities within UP Diliman territory, Materials Recovery Facility
Off Site/ Out of Sight took from the idea that much of the mangrove systems, or bakawan, constitute hidden but vital breeding grounds for life. Participating artists were asked to take this aspect of ‘invisibility’ and ‘inaccessibility’ into consideration as they interact with selected communities within the UP Diliman territory. A number of artists took on a six-month, immersive collaboration with willing households to creatively depict their conditions alongside competing interests in land and other resources. The intent behind these eco-social experiments was grounded in possibly utopic, but necessary, aspirations of crafting just schemes of sharing and living amidst persisting myths about autonomy and privilege.
Artists’ were set off to visit places like the Arboretum, Daang Tubo, Pook Malinis, Krus na Ligas,and CP Garcia at the beginning of April 2014, Off site/Out of sight activated the UP stud farm turned materials recovery facility through site specific work by individuals and artists collectives.
Opening activities included sticker exchanges organized by CVTY Collective, a decker and off-road biker open, a one-day ride-thru of food trucks, and poetry jamming.
Art installations were set-up at the Materials Recovery Facility (former Stud Farm), and where interactions with UP Diliman residents took place.
Artists and art collectives were given specific sites. They had turned these sites into a space where communications, negotiations and translations coexist with one another.
Artist: Claro Ramirez
Ramirez plays on the still strong Filipino penchant to mount wall trophies to summon memories of glories past. Working on a trove of materials found by residents in the stud farm mounds, the artist culled these laminated and since effaced documents of tasks completed in a foregone past also to invoke often overdrawn hopes pinned on education being able to raise the stature of the anonymous amidst very real structural obstacles. Nameless ones is also an obvious reference to the Juans (aspirationally autonomous) in Back to Square 1/Juan.
PAGPAG AT BOLASI
Artist: JM Balingit
Balingit comes from almost two-decades of professional experience in waste management and was inspired to take up one of the stables upon seeing how the artists had been challenged to remake these unlikely spaces to make personal and sensorial statements on social relationships woven into questions related to the physical environment. He takes the two terms in the title from artifacts found in dumpsites such as Payatas. Pagpag refers to food leftovers recovered and dusted, sometimes recooked then served to the families of scavenger families. Bolasi is a concatenation of the words bote, lata, and sibak.
UP OUTDOOR RECREATION GROUP
With the use of body outlines of UP ORG members, the graffiti at the rightmost end of the stables closest to MRF Bldg B is a literal marking off of space with the traces of these individual bodies making present human narratives behind the objects strewn about the MRF. Like the other organizations and collectives who have opted to occupy the stables, this site stands as both coordinating hub and free wheeling creative space for those accessing Off Site/Out of Sight projects through this specific network.
C.P. GARCIA GALLERY
As the nearest community settlement to the MRF, this stable has been apportioned to the residents of CP Garcia as they basically regained access to the more interior spaces of the MRF upon engaging with this project. It is a multi-purpose space in which continued workshop output, communal bonding activities, and possibly incubation of sustainability projects can be undertaken.
Contemporists Collaborative is a University of Santo Tomas-born architectural collective which came on board as a means to provide architectural interventions on the stud farm as physical site and convergence point for broad ranging artistic projects. Their initial propositions of crafting Invisible Links, or a Malleable Pathway have taken form in the setting off of a trail that visually and spatially conjoins MRF Bldgs A and C with a tree-bound swing respite in between. Possibly the biggest challenge facing this project was the summoning of creative solutions toward the crafting of architecture that would tread softly and wisely upon the grounds of this already fragile site.
Tangay (carried away) and Tangan (held in the hand) were the key words informing this project which hoped to occasion dialogue during a creative activity participated in by invested parties in the continuing tenuous negotiations over land involving the UP administration, the Quezon City local government, and in this particular case, residents of the Arboretum. As these negotiations delicately touched on such dire questions about tenure, human rights, and state funds shifting away from educational institutions, the process-oriented approach which physically yielded these mini precarious houses only underlines even more questions. Sta. Ana asks for instance: “Will the university ‘hold the hand ’of these communities? Or will it continue to deal with them at arms length?”
Artist: Mars Bugaoan
Critical Level explores how various human activities contribute to the remaking of the natural environment. Bugaoan’s use of twigs and branches wrapped in plastic alludes to both naturally and artificially submerged and flooded landscapes, depicting present and future scenarios where the structures of the organic and physical end up entangled in the trappings of the packaged consumable and haphazardly regarded disposable.
Artist: Eric Zamuco
Archways are usually used to memorialize but in this case this green arch of snake trees plays an indexical role, a tree form that is deliberately bent out of shape, alluding to how informal settlers stick out or remain out of place even where they live. Evocative too of the impulse to regulate the innate, the irony is that even this gesture of contouring, which took half a day and summoned major problem solving skills from a boom lift operator, will still surrender to nature eventually. Way Out literally stretched both Zamuco’s usually obsessively calculated work parameters and strained engineering crew protocols. Is there a way out? Or is finding a way up from the ground already some measure of escape from the dictates of propriety and possibility?
W.A.L.A activates their spaces by turning their stables into operations offices/ headquarters/ lounge areas and a makeshift community center. Their ongoing repurposing of this multi-functional area and installation calls for the participation not just of the artists themselves but also of visitors chancing upon the space. The graffiti wall marking off the leftmost side of the stables is posed as a dynamically transforming ground and staging area for interactions and workshops set to happen between W.A.L.A. and children living in the surrounding communities.
Artists: Bonayog, Mangrobang and De Juras
In putting together an empty but experiential space, Bonayog-Mangrobang-De Juras cubed off a portion of a stable to create a space of play between what is seen and unseen depending on lighting conditions, including whether their portal is left ajar or otherwise, etc. Meant as an interactive site with stickers that visitors can choose to mount and thus apply color on otherwise bare walls with, the work is also an attempt to evoke how a child’s knowledge base expands through experience and interaction with others. While the exterior is intended to blend into the rough mode of the stables, the artists also pin their hopes on making this a site of the unexpected, and possibly a way to imagine new beginnings with the interior rigged in white noise and consequently suggesting an in-between mode.
Artist: Ohm David
David is an artist and resident of Pook Amorsolo and thus grew up around the stud farm when it was still in use as a stud farm. His childhood reminisces include feeding the horses as he tagged along with his mother who was once employed by the National Stud Farm. Kwadra is an attempt to dream about this and buried pasts in general, using patches of memory to possibly construct images of a however uncertain future.
KYRIOS AND KYRIOSER
Artist: Carol Peña-Santos
While noting that part of the MRF used to be a veterinary hospital, Peña-Santos physically stages her fascination for hospitals as institutions of power and control as popularly tagged to Michel Foucault’s writing. She creates a simulation of this clinical space, through the laying out of a bare site lined with white tiles and a central ocular contraption. Through this, and despite the immediate siting of the work in a potentially toxic MRF, she hopes to reassert the idea of nature as an environment for healing. As visitors are encouraged to enter into what is meant to be a portal or a rabbit hole, a sense of hope or anticipation is counted on as a way to wear down some degrees of fear and anxiety usually attributed to the trauma of bodily subjecting to protocols of colonizing medical sites.
Artist: Claro Ramirez
Still in line with evoking the unbound terms defining relations between the MRF and those living around it, the transformation of this stable, collaboratively done with workers in the MRF and residents of CP Garcia subtly pose the shared work as a means to physically and metaphorically broaden the parameters of ‘owning’. With materials culled from the stable ruins, books coming together from booksale shopping missions, and outright donations even from workers in the MRF, this modest gesture to return to why places of learning were put up in the first place, is also a taunt to think through what art can and cannot do.
Honesty Library by Claro Ramirez
NO TRESPASSING/ PUBLIC PROPERTY
Artists: CVTY Collective
CVTY Collective occupies two stables, one humorously marked off with a “no trespassing public property” sign. Counting on visitors’ choosing to encounter rather than retreat, they intend the paired spaces to literally open up as artists’ spaces where they may, in the course of the project, paint and repaint, hold gatherings like their recent sticker festival or their Ipin Festival after party, where communal activities like sticker trading, sketchbook/blackbook collaborations, and performance-rap/spoken word, wordplay may unfold in this temporal Cavity Collective satellite headquarters.
ILAW AT DILIM
Artist: Oca Villamiel
Pre-school calendar shift, the University of the Philippines Diliman’s vaunted sunflowers once stood for how UP graduates instinctively turned to the light to ensure their education got digested and productively played out in wider worlds beyond Diliman. Not having come from UP, Villamiel accidentally plugs into this Peyups narrative in this ambivalent scene of hope and despair replete with a haunting life-size angel of death.
MODELS UNIT 1 AND 2
Partly in response to the given incongruences of the site (a catch basin for yard waste, forgotten neighbor to the College of Fine Arts, the stud farm’s green but essentially now brown nature), Model Units 1 and 2 play on the irony that rings through having a liveable space in the absence of access to land. The intent to posit crafted luminosity in a dark space took tangential routes (including observing how the proliferation of glow-in-the-dark soda bottles eventually turned into trendy Christmas trimmings last year). This team of artists eventually settled on harvesting typhoon debris both at the farm and the nearby art school in comically posing two real estate showrooms, one with densely strung natural wall treatment and another with its own ‘finity’ pool. Taken together, the project brings to mind how urban Philippines is being turned into a network of arguably homogenous condominiums with a pocket few bannering rigged nature subs like vertical gardens to anaesthetize buyers from the actual state of territories constantly at the brink of transformation by ‘developments’.
Fuelled by capitalism, profit-oriented production, moreso over-production of consumer objects, give rise to waste in many forms and the guileless exploitation of the environment. Zamora, Gernale, and Pimentel’s wheat-pasted image of a ravenous can opener alludes to this neo-liberal cycle of vicious and monstrous consumption. Juxtaposed against the indicting texts on Garcellano’s otherwise innocuous cans, the work as a whole seeks to explore ecological concerns from a class conscious perspective.
C.P. GARCIA HOMES: BUILD AT YOUR OWN RISK
Artist: Alma Quinto
C.P. Garcia Homes is a rough parody of a gated community. Proceeding from what Quinto initially called her New Build Zone (NBZ) Project, the room-size work is a collaborative project with the CP Garcia community, access to which is literally a few steps away from the stud farm stables. In aiming to establish physical and psychological connections between these two adjacent but set off sites, Quinto, along with participating residents recreates community maps drawn by residents during a workshop done in and about their own neighborhood.
Using dried banana leaves which are light and readily available (like materials used to build their precarious houses), the project counts on that which is abundant in the site and on collaboratively building a home space that might bridge these residents’ need for tactical invisibility for their own survival, along with their right to represent and assert themselves and participate in this creative process. C.P. Garcia Homes is also a child-friendly space where children can play, create and paste their works on the wall as they learn art by doing. A number of children call it the cuadra ("papasok ako sa cuadra") which they find more fun and exciting than the public school they go to.
TIME CAPSULE PROJECT
Artist: Roselle Pineda
Pineda’s Time Capsule is a collaborative presentation about personal memory and larger questions about the keeping of these memories. The work plays upon notions of what is sustainable and worth remembering in this space which time seems to have forgotten, and amidst the emergence of generations of Filipinos dealing with sensory overload, and markedly diminished interest in what is past. Pineda: “I am interested in how people from various backgrounds view ideas of memory, preservation and history, amidst depleting sources, disenfranchisement, environmental degradation, and a systemic neoliberal economy and culture that constantly packages us, including our memories, as commodities.”
Artists: Richmond Dampil and UP Outdoor Recreation Group
Posed from an avowedly religious standpoint, Revelation is a look into how personal searches unfold during the darkest moments of human lives. Anchoring the journey through the use of recycled materials, visitors are encouraged to think upon how individuals strike upon variable paths, with some leading nowhere, and some pinning their faith on the divine, beyond the wiles of fraught human hubris. Counterpoised against these references to choice and chance is a wayward urinal of fresh water situated outside, signifying a perhaps not so poetic flushing out of toxins alluding to how the farm presently performs as overworked filter of campus excess.
The Project Bakawan team announced an open invitation to artists or art group/s to participate in the festival. They were encouraged to engage with various institutions and the community of UP Diliman. These engagements range from site-specific installations to interactive programs.
Artist: Luis "Junyee" Yee Jr.
"Balag Dos" takes from the artist's 1970 installation "Balag." As a freedom installation, the UP Diliman community was invited to take part in the creation of the artwork by writing messages on clothes and mounting them on the bamboo poles that comprise the structure at the Quezon Hall Amphitheater.
PLOT THE RILES
Installation Opening, 3 PM, AGT (Monorail) Field in front of College of Fine Arts
“PLOT THE RILES: A Forum and Participative Installation on the Philippine Railway System” aims to depict the existing railway lines in the Philippines and expose its limitations in providing Filipinos the mass transportation system that the country needs for a long-term and inclusive economic development. The installation component of the work consists of large-scale, color-coded lines or networks, tracing the different routes of the train systems in the country, across the site of the Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) prototype. The participative aspect of the installation will enable the viewers to propose future train routes that they see as important sites the trains should reach, based on the needs of the majority. A forum preceding the opening of the installation aims to contextualize the work, introduce the importance of the railway system as a mode of transportation in the Philippines, talk about the current issues regarding the MRT and LRT, and highlight the need for a collective effort in achieving a safe, sustainable, and accessible mass transportation system in the country.
RAPT is a performative open installation wherein the artists “rearrange the landscape” by continuously creating arbitrary structures and arrangements on site using only rocks and debris, coming from demolitions or discards, and collected from their immediate environment: the UP Diliman Campus and its surrounding communities. Working on what is readily available, Rapt recreates the landscape from and within itself. The artists’ full involvement in the creation of the work recalls the mental, spiritual and bodily involvement of ancient builders and workers, of entire communities undertaking the construction of monuments and monoliths to honor and worship an unseen force that presides over their lives. Here, nature is art and art is nature, its inspiration and maker both divine. In this respect, the willfulness to involve and immerse oneself body, heart, and soul into creating is an expression of complete investment: a gesture of affection for the space and for those who will see and interact with the work. Brisa Amir and Les Lee's installation was located at the "Hippie Hill" beside the College of Mass Communication in front of Quezon Hall.
NATURE ENLIGHTENMENT (PADMASANA)
Medium: Reclaimed wood (interlock and woven Mahogany trimmings, peeled wicker and found vines)
Location: Faculty Center Grounds, UP DIliman
The sculpture is the artist's version of Buddha sitting in Padmasana (or Lotus Pose) under a Bodhi tree while searching for the cycle of birth, death and the wheel of life. The sculpture itself represents and mirrors that cycle. From the tree where the sculpture is displayed to the organic piece itself, nature is our reminder of the impermanence of life. As the meditating piece slowly decomposes outdoors, we get a glimpse of the fact that we as well will return to this fragile earth we take for granted.
Niccolo Jose is an environmentalist, a wood sculptor and a furniture-maker. He specialises on making one of a kind art-furnitures out of reclaimed wood and is currently exploring figurative yoga sculptures.
Medium: PET Bottles, LED Bulbs Location: Abelardo Hall Grounds (College of Music) UP Diliman
Giant Dandelion is a light art installation of 20 larger than life flowers made from 2,000 recycled water bottles and lit with energy saver bulbs. From plastic spoons to water bottles to cocktail stirrers, Olivia is drawn to mass produced objects. These object refer to our consumerist society that is inevitably polluting our environment
Olivia D'Aboville specializes in tapestry and textile structures. She seeks to increase awareness of the environmental problems of the Philippines through her multi-media installations made of recycled materials.
LIGHT IN ECOSYSTEM
Artist: Aze Ong Medium: Yarn, GI wires, wood Location: College of Arts and Letters Bldg. UP Diliman
The premise of this exhibit is that every part of the environment has a significant purpose, species, size, appearance, color, shape and texture have equal importance. Each having a vital function to be respected. The pieces, along with accompanying performance, promote the personal healing nature of art. -Norman Ramirez
Aze Ong is a self-trained artist whose works are made with a combination of crochet, fiber, metal, wood and stone.
MANG GROOVY'S ORCHARD
Artist: Pete Jimenez
Medium: Steel Pipes, Welded Rebars Location: Faculty Center, UP Diliman
The Bakawan Installation is inspired by Roberto Chabet’s 1974 artwork of the same title. the collection of rusty steel pipes with welded corrugated bars are reminiscent of cut up mangroves. The bright red ocular of the inner cylinder suggests blood (life); each sculpture is an artery to life’s essential flow.
Pete Jimenez is one of the most ingenious multi-media artist in contemporary art scene, He has been fashioning steel discards into graceful forms that work as visual puns
'Di na Kaya
Performance by Fred Liongoren