MOUTH WORDS, MUSTER MURMURS
Curated by Eya Beldia
September 5 – 23, 2023
Finale Art File, Makati City, PH
Silence is loudest
in a state of quietude;
we are listening.
To patiently sit with contradictions, to confront our anxieties with uncertainty, and to operate despite conflicting realities is offered in Mouth Words, Muster Murmurs. Together with visual artists Roan Alvarez, Jorem Biadoma, Henrielle Baltazar Pagkaliwangan, Camille Quintos, Miguel Lorenzo Uy, and writer Carissa Pobre, the exhibit attempts to traverse tensions palpably present yet often kept quiet. The works, having less to do with material, meander through a spectrum of concepts that contemplate on connections with community and how that is influenced by the history of our people. Whether it is from society-at-large or one’s personal expectations, what are we saying when we’re not really speaking?
I write this preliminary text one word at a time, one line from beginning towards an end, and one thought after another. A progression of words informed by what I have always known, what I’m about to let you know, and what (I assume) we could learn together. To decipher and dissect thoughts, concepts, and ideas means paying attention to what we hear, taste, smell, and see. These senses are informed by our experiences and educated by the powers around us. Nowadays, when what we used to know as fact is revisited and when what was free then is now restricted, how do we provide space to discuss what is often pushed aside or hushed? Well aware of the complications of putting words in people’s mouths, the text presented in the next few pages come from the artists themselves. Where are they coming from? What and how do they think? What do they know about the present and pressing realities? What is the work about? And perhaps, most importantly, why do they make?
Then we could trace the artist’s thoughts in their works, and ask: what have they mouthed that would muster our murmurs?
text by Eya Beldia
Somewhere, 2023, 2-channel video, 9mins., edition of 4
Somewhere is a 2-channel video piece of a hand each channel. The audio is muted and both hands are illuminated by the glow of a digital screen playing a certain video, different for each hand. One video shows poverty, kindness, and despair. The other: entertainment, glamour, and worship.
It is somehow connected to my earlier work Mirage (Avatar), (2021) a CG animation of a mirror-finish hand that reflects a mapping via google earth of the different routes, cities, ports, and roads built for economic progress, and with this one being a real hand, moreover, a posture imitating the crucifixion. This is my reflection of how artists like me, become martyrs for the sake of their art, ego, idealism, and the hypocrisy that it entails.