Light and Space boys

We are now installing beds in every studio in light and space. Not mainly for the convenience of sleeping inside the studio but rather to make the artists work on their projects as soon as they get up and until the very last hour. So they would have plenty of time to dream of exhibitions and the future of their careers and Philippine art. We’ve opened the mini-library for 24 hours access, the wi-fi shuts down at 6pm to allow for creative time unadulterated by the internet, and for them to take notice the subscriptions we have to magazines and book editions. Once in a while i invite them to come up to the office so we can “talk.” What ensues is a conversation to impinge upon them the roles (burdens) as young and emerging artists, to advance artistic creation. Occasionally I go down to the studios for guidance counseling (we take turns in the counseling) and to view the latest creations. Our residency is not a day-care programme for the young artist, it closely resembles a barracks where the only orders are to do their best and maximize their potential. As each day passes, I get the impression that we’ve been running a little Eugenics programme where the goal is to produce the artists with the most desirable traits, gradually eliminating undesirable elements down the evolutionary line such as non-reflexive assumption of modernist tendencies, our exoticized self-image as Filipino artists, and juvenile stupidity which not a few artists have carried on well into their mid-career. Yes this is a bit fascistic and I may be half-joking but it is a functioning residency. We do not whip the artists to work and neither do we hold anything back for them, no contracts, no peer pressures. We strive to improve conditions so once and for all we rid each and everyone the ills perpetrated in art schools and artistic cliques, to finally shake pretensions and expunge the shame and inferiority complex that we so unconsciously display whenever we showcase our artworks in international exhibitions. The world owes us nothing because we are in the third world.  Wow, the bed cushion feels really nice.

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