Ang “Female Oblation”

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Ang katotohanan nauna ang “Triumph of Science over Death” o “Scientia” na nilikha ni Rizal noong 1890 bilang regalo kay Blumentritt kaysa sa Oblation. Madalas din itong tawaging “Triumph of Science over Ignorance”. Nakatungtong siya sa isang bungo na simbolo ng kamatayan at may hawak na sulo na simbolo ng karunungan. Pinakaprominenteng replica ang nasa tapat ng Calderon Hall ng UP Manila. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali una itong itinirik noong 1924. (Makikita mo itong bahagyang nakakubli sa likod ng bakod ‘pag napadaan sa kalye ng Pedro Gil). Ang UP Oblation ay itinayo noong 1935 ni Guillermo Tolentino. MAHALAGANG SABIHIN NA mula sa pag-aambag ng mga estudyante ng UP noong panahong iyon ang pondong ginamit para matayo ang oblation. Hindi ito effort ng administrasyon na may kuwestiyonableng panlasa sa sining. Magkatuwang ang dalawang rebulto, si “Scientia” at “Oblation” dahil pareho silang may pagtanaw sa mahigit tatlong daang taon ng pananakop ng mga Kastila. Pansinin ang sukat at komposisyon para malaman kung paano. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali (dahil ‘di ko na mahagilap kung saan ko nabasa) ginawa ni Tolentino ang Oblation bilang reaksyon sa o inspirado ng eskultura ni Rizal (Gumawa pa ng maliit na replica si Tolentino ng Scientia na makikita sa National Museum). Makakabuti sa mga magtatangkang sumunod sa yapak ni Tolentino at Rizal sa paggawa ng panibagong simbolo ng pambansang unibersidad na balikan ang sariling kasaysayan. Retrato ni: Migo Dupio mula sa Flickr

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The inspiration for the Oblation can be found in the second stanza of Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios. (Talagang base sa mga gawa ni Rizal ang Oblation at maaring nagtake-off sa “Scientia”)

Sinulat ni UP Professor Guillermo Tolentino ang ibig sabihin ng kanyang nilikha nang malinaw. Nakatungtong ang oblation sa mga batong representasyon ng arkipelago ng Pilipinas at sa halaman ng katakataka na may “roots tightly implanted in Philippine soil” (HINDI LUTANG KAGAYA NG KAY CACNIO.) Ewan kung bakit hindi na nakasayad sa lupa ang “oblation” ni Cacnio. Taliwas ito sa imahe ng iskolar ng bayan na kinatha ni Tolentino. Pakiramdam ko na parang imbento lamang ang konsepto at nauna ang “gimik” na gumawa ng nakalutang na eskultura.

“The completely nude figure of a young man with outstretched arms and open hands, with tilted head, closed eyes and parted lips murmuring a prayer, with breast forward in the act of offering himself, is my interpretation of that sublime stanza. It symbolizes all the unknown heroes who fell during the night. The statue stands on a rustic base, a stylized rugged shape of the Philippine archipelago, lined with big and small hard rocks, each of which represents an island. The “katakataka” (wonder plant) whose roots are tightly implanted on Philippine soil, is the link that binds the symbolized figure to the allegorical Philippine Group. “Katakataka” is really a wonder plant. It is called siempre vivo (always alive) in Spanish. A leaf or a piece of it thrown anywhere will sprout into a young plant. Hence, it symbolizes the deep-rooted patriotism in the heart of our heroes. Such patriotism continually and forever grows anywhere in the Philippines.”

 

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MAY MGA NAGSASABING HINDI RAW “FEMALE OBLATION” ANG ESKULTURA NI G. CACNIO, KUNG GANOON, ANO ANG SILBI NITO SA UP CAMPUS? KUNG GANOON PALA, WALA ITONG PINAGKAIBA SA FIGURINE NA NALILIGAW SA MESA NG KUNG KANINO. TYPICAL NA SCULPTURE NA PARANG MADE IN CHINA. Maaring hindi tinangka ni Napoleon Abueva na lumikha ng female version ng oblation sa kanyang “Magdangal” pero wala na sa artist ang pagbibigay ng koneksyon, nasa mismong espasyong kanyang pinaglalagyan nagmumula ang kabuluhan ng isang public sculpture. KUNG GANUN, HINDI RIN BA AWARE SI CACNIO NA loaded ang “nude female form” sa kasaysayan ng public sculptures sa loob ng UP? DAHIL NA NGA MISMO SA OBLATION?Wala ba talaga siyang sense ng saliksik at reflexivity para hindi malaman ang mga bagay-bagay na ito? HINDI AKO NANINIWALA.

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Kaya nga nakakagulat na sa kabila ng dami ng nauna at kasabay ng eskulturang “UPLIFT” dinismiss lang ito at sinabing “Hindi ko kilala si Elisabet” “Di ko alam ang Virgins of Apeldoorn” at “di pa ko nakakapunta sa Netherlands” ni G. Cacnio. Mas malala ang sinabing “product of my own imagination” niya ito dahil para bang nagising siya isang umaga at naka-install na sa utak niya ang ideya para sa UPLift. Ngayon ay parang itinatanggi na rin na tinangka ito bilang “female version” ng oblation samantalang alam naman ng lahat na loaded ang anumang paglalagay ng nude form, female o male sa loob ng UP Campus dahil hindi maiiwasang maikumpara ito sa Oblation ni Guillermo Tolentino. Mas lalong nagmumukhang tanga kung pati ito ay itatanggi pa. Ano ‘yun, walang awareness sa precedents o sa konsepto ng site-specificity o sa characteristics ng public sculpture?

 

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By accounts of his daughter, here are some thinking points: How can “UPLift” be inspired by the Oblation if it was initially made for a group show on the theme of the “Levitation” in 2007? Logically, “Inspiration” comes before and during the creation of the work. So was the “inspiration” just an afterthought after the work was recreated? So its now inspired by the Oblation because it was going to be reconstructed in UP? This is really strange. I believe though that Mr. Ferdinand Cacnio is not a plagiarist, since it is almost impossible to plagiarize anything in the visual arts. Artists copy and get inspiration from anyone and anywhere. What is strange to me is that despite the “very common theme” of “levitating nude bodies”, Mr. Ferdinand Cacnio insists, and many of his apologists insists that he thought of it “on his own”. He’s on social media, did he not google or research precedents? That is simply not how artists, especially from UP are trained. We all work within a tradition. Professional artists are expected to be aware of other artists and other art works especially those within his table of conversation. On top of this, we shouldn’t be so bothered to know the “intentions” of the artist. The interpretation of audiences is not less valuable. If they think its “sexualized” then that is a valid layer of meaning to the work, given that it was displayed inside a university campus and not in the business district of BGC. The locus and milieu of the work is part of the meaning of any public sculpture and one cannot insist that a sculpture be seen similarly by any two people in two different occasions and locations.. My critique is directed on the work and the process of the sculptor. https://www.facebook.com/bianca.cacnio/posts/10209622737432908?hc_location=ufi

 

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After we’ve seen so many copies of something over so many years, we’re not all experts who can stand before an original and understand it. It takes our breath away. Therefore, without the existence of copies, we wouldn’t understand originals. – From the movie “Certified Copy” by Abbas Kiarostami

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