Martha Atienza, Vic Balanon + Allan Balisi, Catalina Africa — Silverlens Galleries

It was time for our (my family) yearly medical checkup and that means a pitstop to Silverlens before going home.

If you’re wondering what the connection between the two is : they’re just near *somewhat* each other. That’s it.

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We didn’t get to go to the opening because of the usual hindrance to my flowering social life (other than my lack of small talk skills, willingness to go out, general friendliness aka me as a person ) : Manila Traffic.

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Anyway, even if I go to openings, I like coming back because no people means better pictures.

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In my quest to understand the art more (in the artist’s perspective and not just me liking it or not), I took some of the artists notes.

I usually ignore them or just take to remember the artist’s name and the title of the show for instagram posts. HAHA YEAH (Im kinda lame. shh)

Reading those notes (for me) adds another level to the work and you see them in a new light. Somewhat like Aha! moments or Ahh yun pala yun.

In SG main gallery was Martha Atienza’s Study in Reality No.3

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I remember her (well her name because we’ve only met last weekend in Raymond Halili’s house warming in Silang, Cavite) from her work in SG’ booth in Art Fair Philippines 2015. She rode a cargo boat to (or from) Russia and recorded a video of the Sea. (no amount of description can beat actually seeing the piece so I’m not even going to try to) It’s one of the works that I will never forget — not just from the Art Fair but in my whole life.


My first gif!

I was trying to figure out how to show the moving parts of the exhibit without uploading the video *google said it was too much work to upload one*

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As I mentioned above, I met the artist a week after I saw the show. She told me, rather I overheard while they were talking, that she lives in Cebu. Her mom said it takes 1.5 hours to go to the port, another hour on the boat and another hour from port to the main city.

Needless to say, they live far away. I always wondered how it would be to live on an island — this picturesque scene of sun, watermelons and the beach came into mind. Then I remembered (with the help of the artist notes haha) that Cebu was one of the places hit by Typhoon Yolanda.*

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Reality vs. the Ideal : that’s what the artist is tackling in her show, “the ‘constant dance between the ideal and the real.’”

In my illustration above* (rather simplistic I know), there is a discrepancy with the ideal and the reality the people of the Batanyan Island is facing due to the terrain, weather, and other uncontrollable elements thrown at them — represented by the movements and pulling and tugging of the pieces? (maybe, maybe)

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SLab hosted the show of Vic Balanon and Allan Balisi, There’s A Story Here Somewhere, It Got Lost Along the Way.

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Before anything else, I love these too — I mean I love their works, I like them as people a normal amount.

Okay, now to their notes : “who both appropriate imagery from film stills as a means to re-engage with this material and to instigate discourse on the malleable boundaries of pictured and mediated reality with personal and collective memory, consequently stringing narratives from these labyrinthine synapses of psychic and cultural connections.”


YEAH, ME TOO. Let’s go back to ogling the works. haha

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They use the word “diluted” to describe Balisi’s work. The purpose of which (from my understanding) is to remove all distraction (“projected valuation”) to have a pure (unaffected) experience of the images.

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Sorry, I couldn’t take a proper picture.

Anyway, in Balanon’s part, the film images were taken as it is stating “Balanon has chosen to depict them verbatim in “reinvigorating a way of seeing that was once slow and deliberate” alluding perhaps to the long takes of filmic time.” — let’s leave it with that. haha

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I loved the pairing because I’ve always loved contrasting things together. In this case, high pigmented works to washed out/ thinned out pieces.

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The next and last show was Catalina Africa’s Reverse Boomerangs and Other Exercises For Pleasure (Warm Up/ Cool Down).

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Generally, it was a fun exhibit. It had installations, paintings, collages and a video. With that, the artist “reexamines and reforms the practice of painting into an enlightened ritual of self-discovery and sense awareness.” The artist shares with us her experience and purpose when creating her art, specifically painting.

Shows are up until 6 June 2015

*all quotes are from artist notes for their respective exhibits


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