Luis Gordillo’s fixation

Text below was translated from La fijación de Luis Gordillo by Margot Molina from the 16 Oct 2014 edition of El Pais. I recently bought a book catalogue of his retrospective at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) last week and noticed that his works echo the same painterly concerns of several Filipino artists working in the contemporary art scene. This is a preliminary attempt at uncovering a connection or circumstantial similarities in the milieu of Spain and the Philippines that influenced its painters working in a certain period.

Luis Gordillo, photographed before his work 'Is this the future?' / LAURA LEÓN
Luis Gordillo, photographed before his work ‘Is this the future?’ / LAURA LEÓN. From EL PAIS (No copyright infringement intended)

An exhibition in Seville traces the obsession to paint heads that the artist developed in the 1960s when he began to employ psychoanalysis.

At the age of 80, anyone would think that Luis Gordillo is retreating from everything and will now worked locked in a bubble, without the need of the rest of the world. Nothing more is further from reality because the father of pop-art in Spain and influence of several generations of artists is a sponge that absorbs everything and translates it into his own language. Gordillo has not lost an iota of curiosity that has transformed him into one of the best Spanish artists of the second half of the twentieth century. This is evident in hisin Cabezas, the exhibition that opened Thursday (October 2014) in Seville.

The exhibition, which can be seen at the Real Alcázar until 9 January 2015, brings together 55 works (many of them multiple so that a total of 123 pieces are shown) made between 1956 and 2014.

“When I got into pop art, in 1963, all I did were heads. The subject appears and disappears throughout the years, as a feet or a tail can also appear, but curiously I always return to painting heads. I suppose this comes from my interest in psychoanalysis, which I started in Madrid in 1963 and I have done for 40 years, although with interruptions,” reflects Luis Gordillo (Seville, 1934) before one of the series of the sample: Cabecitas Expressionistas, 2003-2010).

“But psychoanalysis creates a dangerous dependence, that someone listening to you is nice and I’ve always had a lot to tell. I could spend hours pulling the thread and I suppose that certain levels that has reached my work come from there, “says Gordillo, who a decade ago showed in his city his first steps as an artist through 150 works in Pre-Gordillo goes to Paris .

The exhibition begins with drawings from the late 50’s, most of which belong to the artist’s brothers, although the strong core of the exhibition, curated by his brother José Manuel Gordillo – from whom he started the idea of ​​gathering the heads – and Luis Montiel, are pieces from the sixties and seventies. The gouache work, Cabeza de Santiago (1963) and the drawing, Self-portrait with Jose (1963) are exhibited for the first time and several paintings in the 60 works presented have not been shown for decades.

In the Hall of the Alcázar Apeadero, which has almost tripled its exhibition space thanks to the intervention of the study of the architect Frade, you can see fundamental works in the trajectory of the artist as the acrylic work, Cabeza Macho (1973) and the diptych Trio gris y vinagre ( 1976), both loaned by the Foundation Suñol of Barcelona. Although more than half of the pieces belong to the artist’s collection, the stunning polyptic series Luna (1977) belongs to the Reina Sofía Art Center in Madrid.

The exhibition brings together works from 1956 to 2014, including some early unpublished drawings

“When I abandon figurative references, it seems to me that the head is no longer enough and I begin to dive into deeper levels, to penetrate the brain,” says the artist thoughtfully, almost as if he had returned to a session of psychoanalysis, therapy that he abandoned A decade ago, to explain the genesis of much of its production in the 1990s.

In Superyo Frozen, a large exhibition organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) in 1999, many of the works were diptychs that resembled a sectioned brain. “It was like entering the inside of the head and capturing its rhythms,” adds Gordillo, the creator of a colorful and attractive “mental map”, as he defines it.

Cabezas, organized by the Seville City Council with the sponsorship of the La Caixa Foundation and the Cajasol Foundation, welcomes the visitor with three great prints by Melchor Voyeur in blue, green and purple, the same motif that served in 2007 to cover The Roman bridge of Cordoba during its restoration. And it shows how this obsession with the heads does not belong to the past with several recently dated works. The last work, Is this the future?, is an acrylic on canvas made this year in which the face, possibly the artist’s own, flattens like If it were a rubber mask on a succession of planes.

“Now I am still very open, because to maintain many things at the same time takes a lot of energy and there are days when it seems that my head breaks. Before I could develop many themes intellectually at the same time, now not so much “, confesses the Gordillo. And with a smile assures that it is his feminine side that has allowed him to multitask; Although his wife, Pilar Linares, helps him. “She is 50% of what is here, perhaps even 60%. She works a lot and is my absolute partner,” he concludes.

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Cy Twombly at Centre Pompidou

30 novembre 2016 – 24 avril 2017
de 11h à 21h ou de 11h à 23h
Galerie 1 – Centre Pompidou, Paris

Achilles Mourning the Death of Patroclus, 1962, Oil, wax crayon, lead pencil on canvas, 259 x 302 cm

Hardly any artist of recent fame has been regarded as ‘active’ as long as Cy Twombly, an American artist who lived in Rome towards the end of his life. He first came to the attention of the international art scene in 1956 during his first set of solo exhibitions in Rome, Düsseldorf and Paris. He has since been considered a famous artist after that, but him being famous meant being famous only within his circle of peers, where the judgments of his colleagues (some of whom are Twombly’s earliest collectors) are a far more valuable achievement than jacked-up prices in the auction house.

Cy Twombly’s continued rise in 1970s seem a bit puzzling. How is it compatible with the realistic, but infinitely cruel, Warhol statement on fame, which he says takes only 15 minutes?

Perhaps it is Cy Twombly’s peculiar relationship to the history of art and the kind of life that allowed the artist to constantly change over long periods of time and without breaks. This allowed him to be more consistent and to fully establish his identity as an artist. His relationship to history – even his own – is not short-sighted. It does not rely on the gradual results of his present fascination.

His series of paintings which can later be separated completely into individual pictures without changing the concept of the work significantly, are sometimes the culmination of monthly researches, investigations, analyses, and other preparatory work. History is for him a mature and permanent present.

In 1509 Raffaelo da Urbino was received most graciously by Pope Julius II in Rome. There he presented in the Camera della Segnatura a painting of how the theologians sought to unite philosophy and astrology with theology, and in such picture, according to Giorgio Vasari – “all worlds are portrayed, which in different ways relate to each other.”

On the side you can see some astrologers who write all sorts of definite figures on tablets and the writings of the art of astrology and they are sending them through some beautiful angels to the evangelists who explain them. Diogenes with his bowl lies on a staircase; Aristotle and Plato, has one hand with the Timaeus, and the other with the ethics, see the semicircular school of philosophers. Not to mention, the beauty of astrologers and mathematicians, who draw a lot of figures and signs on the boards with the compass. Furthermore, Federigo II, the architect Bramante, Zoroaster, and Raphael himself, the artist of the ‘School of Athens’,  arguably one of the most inspiring works of art in the history of art.

Twombly’s ‘Scuola di Atene’ was finished in 1964 and is exhibited right now at the Centre Pompidou. It has come a long way from the scandal with far-reaching consequences it has caused for the owners of the gallery which originally exhibited it..

In those days, Twombly had confronted his audiences about their lack of knowledge of the history of art behind his works. Although Twombly has since become less controversial with his paintings, a large audience still ignores them or are intolerant of them: Just because it does not conform to the idea of how art should look like, because their often invoked and by now should be infamous “five-year-old daughter ” can also do it.

But perhaps his art, which does not look like art, is a starting point. According to Walter Benjamin true dialectics takes an object as carefully as a cannibal prepares for a baby. First of all there was and at the same time there was no style for Twombly. Or better yet, no pattern can be fully extracted, understood and described.

School of Athens, 1961. Oil, Oil-based house paint, coloured pencil and lead pencil on canvas, 190,3 x 200,5 cm
School of Athens, 1961-64. Oil, Oil-based house paint, coloured pencil and lead pencil on canvas, 190,3 x 200,5 cm

The images are very rare, there is no basic recipe that could make the artist’s work easier for the viewer’s recognition. Neither the art history nor the present are definite concepts of the Here (or There), Now (or At that time), So (and not otherwise).

For his strange limbo state within time, he chooses a certain geographical zone, a mood, perhaps, or an atmosphere. He is as calm as Rafael is provocative, as opposed to the photo-realism of today.

On a public appearance in Berlin, John Cage was asked by a locomotive caller after the concert, if that was not all Dadaist shit. Cage replied that he had always behaved correctly against DADA. The same is Twombly’s casualness. It is not his indifference, his disinterest or ignorance. Histories are sometimes more important to him than a visit to museums, some films, books or poems are more important than galleries and pictures. But how could an artist be so surely moving in the present and in his locale, if his pictorial utterances were not of a comparable kind?

At first he fails to appreciate the style and thus the certainty that may be embedded in something comparable. He was not a pop artist, not an action painter, he is not an informel or a realist of the present cut. Furthermore, there is almost never a large-scale and manageable composition, no division into individual zones, thus also no central figure or a ‘hero’. At all, nothing is really solid and quiet in its place – most clearly perhaps recognizable in the seemingly quiet dark pictures with the Allusions to concrete geometry, but, if one were to examine them, nothing is true. Allusions are once again clearer than the one formulated at the end. Instead of static uniformity and measured paint application, there is an overpowering movement, sometimes casual, sometimes rushed, sometimes in an almost calm state.

At the moment something is fixed in the picture before it dissolves into complete confusion. A free flow is apparent, but this flow has direction, the various picture details are related, they seem to be independent of one another, seem randomly placed, but they get energies and impulses from other places and pass them on. Processes emerge and sink and passages, made up of multiple additions of indifferent things.

Tearing signs flow over the whole, differently distinct and differentiated in the color, which often approaches the non-color by superimposition. Presence of color, but not applicable to a single color. In other painters, a basic tone, a predominant coloring, with Twombly, it is a kind of color space, bright, white, silvery, dark, almost black. The images are often ‘unfinished’ and then have a partial character, justified in the demand to the viewer to accomplish something that has not been formulated to the end. The sensitive attention of the beholder then leaves the eyes at some point, with clear passages, with a nervous-hurry gesture, with vehement or calm colors, or with frequent glazes, which appear to cover something which was not there at all.

The chronological sequence is reminiscent of reading processes or musical connections. The formal arsenal used has become a meta-script, which is not suited to general-purpose information, or even allows an appointment to meaningful ciphers or letters, which is, however, to the extent that ‘Scripture’ is never the sign itself, Whose carrier it is. Twombly writes and writes, he introduces series, proportions, which can often be disturbed. According to 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, 6 does not necessarily have to follow – for perhaps now the 7 would be more adequate; It is not a question of counting things, but of counting them – and then the disturbances do not mean a logical break. In some recent pictures one could think of problems of  minimal-art (if Twombly was not conscious of such styles), for example, to Donald Judd, in whose works 7 boxes are different from works that have 11 in one room.

In both artists, what we see does not exist and what really exists, we do not see. Perhaps a brief reference to the structural method of C. Levi-Strauss helps us. According to him, the fine arts are based on organized conventions to be understood as art. This concept of art is connected with two systems, the first being based on the ability of the viewer to organize sensory experiences, the second is a learned system of visual values.

Both of us are burdened by education, experience and the environment. In contrast to eastern calligraphy, abstract art is an important language and communication, saving itself with contextual meanings, art history, criticism, and biography. Signs (not only in structural linguistics) have such a flexibility that they are both neutral images and active concepts; The artist manipulates signs in such a way that all possible new permutations arise, the circumstance that they are subject to new arrangements, changes their forces and their potential future behavior. But what happens in a picture, which is scribbled, written, painted or blurred? It is arranged for the producers as well as for viewers in a process that runs across the entire image surface, not just fixed on fixed points.

The perception runs over an ultramarine memory – which fixes nothing – into the short-term memory. Only now, after a short period of evaluation, do actions and perceptions go into that long-term memory which allows us to experience and learn processes at all. The painter would have erased them, and we could not claim to have seen anything of it, although we have seen it. To most of us, Twombly is known and familiar – but can we really succeed if we are not constantly dealing with it again? It is a retrospective of contemporary adaptation.

https://www.centrepompidou.fr/cpv/resource/ckKxeoz/rLRy7xo

The Art of Repair

Kader Attia at the Frankfurt MMK

“Show the wound, because you have to reveal the disease that you want to cure.”

05_abajo_2015
Kader Attia, Los de Arriba y Los de Abajo, 2015. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016, Courtesy Kader Attia, Lehman Maupin and Galerie Nagel Draxler. Photo: MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst / Axel Schneider
10_jaccuse_2016
Kader Attia, J’Accuse, 2016. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016, Courtesy Kader Attia and Galerie Nagel Draxler,. Photo: MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst / Axel Schneider
35_universe_2014
Kader Attia, Chaos + Repair = Universe, 2014. © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016, Courtesy Kader Attia and Galeria Continua. Photo: MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst / Axel Schneider

Joseph Beuys words speak so strongly to Kader Attia. The Algerian-French artist is also concerned with injuries and scars, which are written in individuals and societies, but also with healing and “repair”. This is also documented by his great exhibition Sacrifice and Harmony at Frankfurt’s MMK. In contrast to Beuys, Attia, who is represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection, appears less as a mystic and alchemist. His focus is much more on factors such as politics and history, on the power relations that make the present state of the world.

The first work of the exhibition directly confronts the visitor with one of these power relations. In the central hall of the MMK, Attia, who grew up in the suburbs of Paris, installed a walk-through metal corridor. It feels depressing to go under the low, garbage-covered grids. But for the Palestinians in Hebron, this is a bitter everyday reality. They protect themselves from the garbage which the Jewish settlers living in the upper floors throw at them to drive them out of their homes and businesses. Los de arriba y los de abajo (The Above and the Down) makes the brutal division of a society perceptible.

The corridor draws the visitors into a video room, where interviews are conducted, which Attia held with scientists and historians, but also imams and priests. The talks deal with reality and virtuality, religion and spirituality, mental illnesses and Holocaust trauma, but above all, possibilities for healing. Cultures follow very different paths, which are increasingly colliding with one another in our globalized world. Attia shows that everyone has their own truth – the psychoanalyst, the school physician, the shaman, the clergyman.

At one point, everyone agrees: the repression of the past so popular in the West does not contribute to healing. That the ghosts of the past return time and time again shows Attia’s Installation J’accuse in an impressive way. He borrowed the title of a feature film, produced in 1938. In it, director Abel Gance shows how the fallen soldiers of the First World War rose from their graves to warn the succeeding generations of an impending war. Among the performers were also survivors of the bloody battles of Verdun, who show their wounds in the film: their most cruel mutilated faces. A detail of J’accuse can be seen on a large screen. A collection of wooden brushes installed on rusty metal frames serves as an audience. The busts were made by carvers from Senegal. They served as photographs of distorted survivors of the First World War. Their sculptures are inevitably reminiscent of the works of Expressionist sculptors, who owe their vocabulary of form from African art.

“It is very important for me to really remember,” says the artist who was born in 1977. “And the West has often committed the historical error of trying to hide its wounds, its injuries, its scars, and not speak of them any more.” That is why in the West the repair mostly follows the ideal of perfection. It should be invisible, otherwise a broken object will simply be replaced by a new one. In the process however, the story behind the object is erased or disposed. For Attia, artefacts from ethnological collections are particularly interesting. He often incorporates them into his works. This is also the case with his widely acclaimed installation  The Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures at the documenta 13 (2012). Seams and breaks, traces of time and history remain visible in the installation.

Fractures can be aesthetically displayed. This is demonstrated by the installation of a ball made of mirror pieces cut with copper wire at the end of the exhibition hall. Their different colored backs form the outer skin. It is only by looking at this globe that one sees the mirror surfaces – a glimmering, infinitely appearing world of constantly changing light reflections and reflections. Attia has named this work which begins with destruction, Chaos + Repair = Universe. It is through the process of recomposition that the world becomes palpable in all its dimensions and beauty.

MMK Talk with Kader Attia and Gerhard Kubik
Tuesday, May 10, 7 pm at the MMK 1
Kader Attia talks to the ethnologist Gerhard Kubik, an internationally renowned figure in the field of intracultural African cultural research.
In English. Admission free. Supported by Deutsche Bank Foundation.

MMK Talk mit Kader Attia und Gerhard Kubik
Dienstag, 10. Mai, 19 Uhr im MMK 1
Kader Attia im Gespräch mit dem Ethnologen Gerhard Kubik, der zu den international renommierten Größen im Bereich intrakulturelle afrikanische Kulturforschung zählt.
In englischer Sprache. Eintritt frei. Gefördert von Deutsche Bank Stiftung.

Kader Attia. Sacrifice and Harmony
bis 14.08.2016
Museum für Moderne Kunst – MMK 1, Frankfurt am Main

Translated from the Original German Text from the Deutsche Bank Foundation by Geronimo Cristobal, Jr.

We have nothing to add to this world

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 1.41.42 PM

Above: A folded photograph by Romero Barragan

The story of Romero Barragan, (1942 – 2014) an avant-gardist painter and sculptor who has fallen to obscurity after the Marcos regime and his journey to redefine an artistic practice that sought to obliterate the divisions of life and art

One can perceive the 1980s in Philippine art as a starting point for various strategies in defining a true national art form. Romero Barragan, who formerly made what was narrowly thought of until now as “indigenous art” in the preceding decade is an artist in painting, sculpture or objets d’ art who had an interesting cycle of political radicalization and regression during his lifetime.

While the debates between modernist and conservatives during the post-war were out in the open, the artists of Barragan’s generation, tackled their contradictions internally, and sometimes with seeming disregard to preconceived notions of what constituted “Filipino Art” or of the global movements that affected them.

Barragan takes materials from the context of everyday life and continually improves upon them (as an interweaving of art and everyday life) even after the presentation of the sculptural result or after being documented in photographs for the catalog. For many of his works, he has used materials derived from his personal and private life, which suddenly becomes a communal instrument during an exhibition. Because of a considerable demand for his work in the 1980s, the entanglement of art and life has caused an extraordinary toll on his personal life, through a delimitation and almost denial of privacy or through the extreme exposure of his own world. On top of this, Barragan holds no fixation on notions of permanence or the need to preserve art and with few exceptions, his works are, intended to be ephemeral. His material provides to the work the very substance or model that would eventually destroy it. The use of stone or bronze would never be an option for him as he destroys fundamentally the illusion that art is precious, even if the materials being used are actually precious on their own.

The material value of the work is relegated to the background, and the viewer’s perspective is steered towards the dynamics, tectonics, and orientation of each respective sculpture or installation work. In other cases, he combines traditional sculptures with a base of everyday objects and sometimes bases made of precious materials. Barragan reacts with his new combinations on shapes, colors and lines. The base, regardless of its value fulfills a utilitarian function and merges with the sculpture to form an amalgam; in the same method of Joseph Beuys’ amalgam of sculpture (where his refusal to adopt a specific style and medium in which to disseminate his images resulted in an extremely prolific and varied oeuvre). In his early collages and paintings, particularly those produced in his art school, artifacts or their mock-ups sit rather disturbingly amidst images of pop-culture, and sometimes intentionally displayed haphazardly.
This results in the leveling of the material value of all elements as a work of art. The artist also hijacks the intermediality (from the Fluxus movement) of the artistic work. Similar practices by Marciano Galang and David Medalla were initiated in the 1950s-60s. The trio of Roberto Chabet, Benjamin Bautista, and Ramon Katigbak who created the fictional persona of Angel Flores, Jr. proposed a prototype for Romero Barragan: the blurring of life and art, and the view of art beyond a separation of genres, but ambivalently also the strengthening of discussions on the particularity of genre especially in his newer projects, sculptures, and paintings. Barragan like Flores, Jr. was an expatriate artist and he was amused by the freedom to produce new works by taking on many incarnations or as he called it “multiple selves” across his lifetime.

Intermittent exiles and retreat to painting

The only son of Ignacia Sta. Monica, a pre-war classical painter, and Rodolfo Barragan, owner of a chain of department stores, Romero Barragan, seemed destined for fame from the start. An A-student and an outstanding athlete, at the age of thirteen he could sketch and paint in the manner of the French Impressionist School. Capitalizing on his ruggedly handsome looks, he stood out in every school soirée; he had a pleasant manner and a remarkable knowledge of classical painting by old Filipino masters (at the age of twenty-one, he published a monograph on José Honorato Lozano which was overwhelmingly commended by his professors).

He was a first-rate tennis player; a reputation that would present him an initial contact with President Ferdinand Marcos who invited him to play a doubles match in Malacanang. A superb dancer, always impeccably dressed, and a meticulous academic. He was known as the life of the party but he drank not a sip of alcohol; everything about him seemed to lead to the highest achievements, or at least a life as a great artist or as the dutiful scion of an entrepreneurial family. But the terrible historical circumstances in which he happened and chose to live distorted his fate irreversibly.

At the age of eighteen he exhibited his first paintings at the Luz Gallery in the style of early modernists, recognized by critics as a valuable and interesting work, but which could certainly not be said to break any ground for Filipino art, which had started its romance with conceptual art and neo-Dada by the tail end of the 1960s. Barragan realized this, and three months later he left for Europe accompanied by his friend Dimas Balbuena.

In a post-Franco Spain, he acquired a taste for the discotheque, and the newly liberated society succumbed to his youth and charm, his intelligence, and his urbane mannerisms. It was said (by the gossip columnists of our local newspapers at the time) that he was on intimate terms with the Cristina Montes de Alba, the socialite daughter of the Duchess of Alba. That, however, was nothing more than speculation. The guest room of the Duchess de Alba was transformed into a studio apartment and became a place for tertulias of poets, painters, anarchists and their ilk. He began, but did not finish, a study of the life and work of the nineteenth-century painter Fabian De La Rosa, and painted portraits, which few people have seen, since he made no attempt to exhibit them. He wrote in his diary that he was starting to move away from painting and that upon learning of avant-garde movements in Europe via David Medalla, that he would explore conceptual art but would rather get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

In 1983, after arresting a scandal that the Duchess of Alba might have caused after a bitter falling out, he left Spain, and, after a short stay in Paris, visited Weimar in Germany. The land of the Bauhaus movement made a contradictory and mysterious impression on him: in his sporadic diary entries, he expressed his admiration for the remnants of Russian Constructivist art, professed by artists who learned from Bolshevik masters who were working-in-exile in the city before the war. His opinion betrayed the longing he felt for his homeland, an experience he saw reflected in the plight of the peripatetic Bauhaus movement. Six months later he returned to Manila and took up residence in a comfortable apartment in Makati, where his faithful companion Dimas Balbuena, who had been obliged to remain in Hongkong, when he thought he contracted HIV, joined him shortly. (It was a nothing but paranoia induced by nasty practical joke committed against him by Barragan.)

The tennis court at the Manila Polo Club and artistic gatherings occupied much of his time in Manila. Barragan became interested in Chinese Philosophy and attended lectures on the contentions of the “Hundred schools of thought” by Professor Alfredo Co, whom he had met at the Sorbonne.

Shortly before the outbreak of the EDSA Revolution in 1986, Barragan and Dimas Balbuena visited the few friends who had not fled. Then, to the sheer astonishment of these friends, they went straight to Malacanang and enlisted as volunteers for the Coalition of Writers and Artists for Freedom and Democracy (COWARD), which came out with a controversial statement of support for the embattled dictator listing their names as signatories.

Barragan’s derring-do and infinite knowledge of Western art gradually magnetized him to the first lady’s inner circle. Much later he became the only artist who joined the Marcos family in their exile in Hawaii. He is thought to have participated in smuggling the treasures they have left behind to and from Hawaii. Nevertheless, the end of the revolution found him in the tropical paradise, carrying out more or less household duties.

The diffusion of the things in life and art

Installation View of the Exhibition at the Museum Kunstplast, Dusseldorf, DE, 1985

While Barragan had occasionally retreated to painting, he prescribed from the beginning of his artistic career the refusal to provide new material to produce new things. The first, seemingly casual result he did and presented at the School of Art Institute in Chicago (SAIC) in 1964 consisted of all his possessions. For lack of photographic documentation, a rough account goes like this:

He stood in the foreground facing inwards studying what he owned. Overwritten are the words “Organisahin”, “Linisin”, “Ayusin,” terms, which more or less defines his artistic practice. Barragan wanted his artwork not to begin without a general overview – this was the ultimate artistic strategy. He occupied for the duration of the semester break an empty studio space outside campus and claimed that this suited him for he was painting in a kind of ‘outsider position.’

He catalogued his possessions as he brought in more things from his family’s house or had been lent to him by friends. In many later works, he states a clear message that through our possessions our “identity is formed.” He adds that “This is probably why we preserve for decades things that we never use, but keep for our identity.”

On the second step, he displays the photographs and the catalogues. He created a total of 125 photographs, which show his belongings ordered after categories. With the help of a complete inventory he sorted his things, depending on their importance, as Z-, X- or Y-possessions, where the Y-possessions were disposed of, thus discarded, given away or sold, the X-possessions to warehousing and only the Z-possessions were intended to remain in the studio apartment.

The project is typical of what his future projects would show: an extreme entanglement of art and life: while working with his possessions he had no other places to stay. He lived and worked in his studio space. A question arose at the end of his break, how can he even walk on his studio space and be made usable again for other activities. Barragan solved the problem by packing his sculptures on crates and punching eyelets onto his canvasses so they can be hung without stretchers and then be rolled for shipping. This interim storage had its origins in his artistic works at the SAIC.

By 1978, after refusing to be awarded the 13 Artists Award by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and after taking part in a violent protest in April of the same year in Manila he moved to Berlin through a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) grant to research on the art scene of the former GDR. After this he settled in Belgium. By the 1980s, their family businesses closed down and he got by living in Europe working as a refrigerator repairman. Subsequently, the objects he used for his artworks were taken out of their artistic contexts and transferred back into daily use in Barragan’s new Brussels apartment.

The basic structure of his artistic practice has become fully developed; he uses objects that belong in his daily life and then, when they are transferred into the context of art, he gives them an aesthetic form. This is then documented photographically, and then he returns all these objects (utensils, instruments) back into the context of everyday life or as an independent artifact.
Up until this time Barragan commented that he was not sure if he ever wanted to do this kind of art. This lasted until after his first official exhibition at Charim Gallery in Vienna in 1981 but after this there were no longer any questions.

The small space where Barragan dumped all his furniture and other properties has been completely and transferred to the exhibition context (The Artists Studio, 1985, Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf). The boundary between art and life is significantly visible by taking away the purposes of these objects in his private life. Even his plants are used. The piled-up furniture and everyday objects undergo auratization by the prohibition of contact of a white cube gallery, even if they are just banal things like a door or a mattress.

The complex process of idealization and de-auratization becomes clear when the refrigerator, the one in museum could not be touched, but can suddenly be filled up and used again, when the show ends.

Hotel works

The so-called hotel works, the first group of works that are no longer with the artist, are the best examples of the time-bound existence of his works. By refusing to create any physical sculptures the works survived for centuries. If one were to live outside of his usual living environment the hotel seems to be the most common option. Barragan capitalized on implicit factors of temporary nature in hotel rooms.

Barragan stays in every hotel room for one night, temporarily owning or “expanding” his existing furniture, mattresses, blankets and sometimes an occasional oil painting – strictly speaking, this is the first series, which involves other works of art by other artists- he photographs the sculpture he creates of out these things, and rebuilds everything back to the original state the next morning. Here the artist developed another of his work’s characteristic: its site specificity. The shape of the sculpture evolves from the local conditions. The artistic work does not begin in the studio, but within the locale of his subsequent presentation.

The Pedestals and their art

With titles like ‘The pedestals and their art’, Barragan declares that for his first exhibitions in museums he recourses to things that are available locally. During the work on the pedestals exhibition he attempted to answer, what one can add to 2000 years of art production yet without producing something new: He examined sculptures from the collection of Baron Albert Freyer, who was a businessman and the richest man in Belgium at that time, and built a base for each of the sculpture. The material for the base came from the area of the museum, which is
not often addressed and therefore not often seen: the offices of its employees. Their tables, shelves and lamps became temporary bases.

The intention of the artist is clear in combining the sculptures from the collection and using pedestals constructed from the furniture of the museum: the familiar sculptures are perceived in a totally different light, the office furniture are easily transferred to the context of art. Both melt into a new aesthetic unity when the base with its dynamics, shapes, colors and lines react to the sculptures. The base is freed by the sculpture from its serving function and they are both constructed as equal elements.

His artistic process was deemed compromised however when he had to give up some of the ordinary objects in his sculptural installation when the Museum bought three of the twelve works and integrated them into the collection with instructions that they were to be jointly issued with the sculptures selected by Barragan. They have also been made available to other institutions through loans.

The entanglement of art and life has been abandoned at this point: by the act of purchasing the work remains a commodity of the art world, and the boundary line between the paradigms ‘Art’ and ‘Life’ is finally drawn.

The use of already existing everyday materials and the survey of the everyday has been central to the concerns of the Fluxus movement (mainly in Germany). Ostracized in the 1960s and consistently turned away by the elite or declined by the market, the artists of the Fluxus sold their works directly at very low prices. In 2002 for the 40th anniversary of the Fluxus movement, Barragan wrote an unpublished monograph on how the movement influenced his work and philosophy.

Again Barragan muses on the importance of the place for providing his working materials. He discusses a series of sculptures by Wolf Vostell constructed from pots, TVs, and kitchen appliances from the house wares departments. Some questions from his review of the exhibition: when and why everyday objects would be considered as art. His approach in diffusing the separation between art and the everyday context accordingly became part of the characteristic of his own sculptures, as they are similarly turned back into department store shelves after the exhibition. But as with the pedestals and bases of the Freyer collection, the cycle of auratization and then again, de-auratization was often interrupted by the purchase of the works.

The question of ownership and the paradigms of ‘Art’ and ‘life’ turned up again at the presentation of the sculpture, Discernment of Spirits (1984). Baron Albert Freyer, offered to purchase the possessions of the artist, which were only yet to been seen in the form of a sculpture at the spaces of what was to become the Xavier Hufkens Gallery in 1987.

This offer resulted in Barragan to reconsider what exactly were his possessions. Baron Freyer supported the functions of Barragan insofar as they are considered merely as things and not as sculptures; or as accumulated property and strictly through a purchase agreement similarly styled to the practice of Barragan’s inventory, which determined which items, should change hands. The things for daily consumption, such as toothpastes and soaps, were locked out from the purchase.

Art from Art

Barragan remained faithful to his purpose of creating something new, but to work only with what already exists in his immediate surroundings. His site-specific practice soon related to works by other artists: upon invitation from the first Havana Biennale in 1984 he dealt with the sculptures already existing in the park by David Medalla, Helio Oititica and Wilfredo Lam. The result of this engagement became the so-called Cuban series (1983-1985). Barragan initially classified the sculptures according to size and then studied them according to the dynamics of the design language and then identified their relationships to each other.

This created a new ensemble, artworks from art without Barragan making any additions. He argues that by changing our perspectives of each work, he is practically changing the works.
From playing the games of fullness and emptiness, Barragan has over the years not only sustained his work from the nucleus of his possessions and of his apartment building; he also had his material expenses steadily reduced. He would find himself at work feverishly before space becomes an issue. He has worked on empty rooms since 1993, beginning with the spaces of his San Juan studio, in suburbs of Manila.

The viewers are invited to find the traces of the artist at work from the photographs of his “empty” studio. The focus is on the furniture pedestals and the composition of the surfaces and the course of the lines.

The presence is strong on the shots of the surfaces. On closer study, one finds that the artist has made conversions and installations in the studio. The series of studio photographs though was no mere accumulation. Barragan explores possible answers to the question, how the character of a building changes when its purpose is changed. The series of studio photographs integrated Barragan’s 1980s project, which he realized for the Paco Railway Station before it was completely abandoned.

Obviously the Paco Railway Station was not originally built for the presentation of art. It was in the early 20th century, a representative reception building built for the Manila North Railway Company which was subsequently extended and embellished, for example, by a cast-iron patio. The columns of which, can still be seen from the ruins.

After becoming a warehouse, the building was briefly transformed as an art gallery and aptly shows Barragan’s photographs of empty rooms in his San Juan studio. The San Juan studio in turn were the offices of SCD Construction in the 1960s which built commercial buildings whose tenants to name a few, were the companies British American Tobacco, a manufacturer of sport equipments, a dressmaking school, and a wholesale business for art supplies. Since 2009 Barragan successively rebuilt the rented rooms according to his needs. Thus the character of the room varies respectively through the regular architectural transformation it was subjected to by its former users. Barragan presented his studio photos at Paco Railway Station on reconstructed partitions from the renovated walls built by Carlos Arguelles for the Philam Life Theater. The Philam Life Theater, is now owned and soon to be demolished by the SM Development and Construction. Barragan here not only connected three buildings together, he also engaged three different architectural styles and eras – the beginning, middle, and end of the 20th century.

The exhibitions recalls the different periods of time, and particularly for his “Architecture works” many different fields, from architecture to installation to photography. It examines the lifespan of creative spaces by having the visitor enter the fragments of another artistic space, like the Paco station which has become an architectural icon and ruin.

These excerpts from factual and fictitious rooms simultaneously connect Barragan with the illusionistic images of space in the photograph, which have a very planar, picturesque character and evoke strongly the works of Russian Constructivism, which he adored all his life. Barragan denied both the reduction of exhibition practice on a medium as well as the rigidity of spatial reality. By the interweaving of three different inventories he created a confusing, and sometimes-elusive spatial impression.

Life After Marcos patronage

In 1989, forced to choose between a life in exile and a lackluster career back home, he opted for the latter with thoughts that he could revive his artistic career. A bold decision considering this would separate him from his most generous patrons who have all been sidelined after the EDSA revolution. The outbreak of the several coup d’états caught him by surprise since only a few went to his exhibitions. He was also faced with the diminishing coterie of supporters who had less and less resources to fund and collect his ever more conceptual creations. He spent most of what he earned traveling with Dimas Balbuena. During those voyages the press released only two articles about the artistic career of Barragan, and neither referred to the specific political and social events that he had the opportunity to witness at close range. The first article was a mention of his Paco Railway Station installation work. The second was an excerpt of Barragan’s research on Jose Honorato Lozano. Not a word about his role during Martial Law, not a word about his exile in Hawaii. The great work that Barragan seemed destined to make never came.

He failed to mention in his memoirs that a few months before the assassination of Ninoy Aquino, he made contact with a former classmate, on the pretense of exhibiting at the well-respected Charim Galerie in Vienna; he facilitated the purchase of several renaissance paintings at the behest of a top government official, accompanied by the steadfast Dimas Balbuena. In October 1984 Balbuena received a parcel postmarked from Havana, containing sketchbooks and a diary listing all the paintings for the unidentified patron, which he kept in custody. These documents were to constitute a part of Romero Barragan’s estate, which we are now able to examine.

He also failed to mention then that during the last days of the Marcos regime, he was in Manila, holding out against the siege behind a battalion of Marcos loyalists and Presidential guards. According to Dimas Balbuena’s diary, he was injured when a mob outside his studio attacked him on November 3, 1985 when Marcos declared a call for snap elections. On the 25th of the same month, Dimas Balbuena entrusted his remaining papers to the diplomats of the German delegation along with a briefcase of his own manuscripts, which the Germans passed on to the Filipino ambassador in Berlin in 1988. Barragan’s papers finally reached his relatives, and in 1990 they were deposited in the archives of the UP Library. The collection was entitled ‘We have nothing to add to this world’. It contained color slides of his paintings, which were all no more than five feet. Perhaps it was only the size he can photograph in his cramped apartment. The paintings as the titles quite clearly suggest, were mostly still lives of personal things, a kind of autobiography that had been subjected to hermetic visual codifications which rendered the paintings obscure and cryptic for any critic attempting to rediscover the arc of Barragan’s life or penetrate the mystery that would always surround his intermittent exiles, his choices and his apparently quiet death.

Little is known about the remainder of Barragan’s work. According to some, nothing more remained, or only a few disappointing sketches. For a while there was speculation about a warehouse containing more than 500 paintings, which Barragan’s mother had burned.

In 2009, a Filipino art historian researching on the media archives of Malacanang uploaded a video on Youtube of the Marcos Family partying on the presidential yacht days before the EDSA Revolution with Bongbong Marcos among friends singing “We are the World” (could this song have inspired Barragan’s “We have nothing to add to this world” paintings?). In one frame, you can clearly see Barragan, one of a number of artists invited to the occasion, in a flashing red bowtie holding a highball with nothing but water in it near the bar. The rest of the footage, 80 minutes long, shows the preparations of the Marcos family shortly before they were airlifted out to Hawaii, hastily crating and wrapping all their art collection, jewelry and stashes of money. Among those left behind were five early paintings and two sculptures by Romero Barragan, which became part of the debris when the people broke into the Palace during the EDSA Revolution. They couldn’t really distinguish the sculptures from the litter so they thought they had no real value. The classically styled paintings are the far end in his spectrum of contradicting artistic production, which closely follows all the clichés that recur in the voluminous examples of the movement that he has studied in his intermittent exiles. The mimicry was so superb that a critic described that it was more Rembrandt than Rembrandt.

Notes

1 ” I have defined my sculptural materials only to my possessions and limited myself to work only with this existing equipment pool. This rigorous, conceptual limitation was a clear starting point, from which I have developed my work. This has become increasingly so over time and new possibilities have opened, but the basic approach has remained. That I do not use raw materials to form a sculpture, as would the classical sculptors do, but only the sculptural material objects that I find and thus already exist as a form in the material world. The work often arises from the situation and has always this temporary character, either because it is known from the outset only to time, as it is here in Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, or because the sculptures, returns to their objecthood, so that only objects are left…”Barragan quoted from: Works from the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien / Romero Barragan (ed.) Exh. All of this and nothing, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin 1982

2 The author thanks Romero Barragan for an interview conducted in October 2014 and for agreeing to disclose the information included in this article.

3 There is a sort of “intermediate” between the property and the hotel works: 1974 artworks displayed at Shop 6 by Roberto Chabet and returned to Barragan’s apartment in San Juan in 2009. There he incorporated them into his lifework and photographed the interior he redesigned. See Romero Barragan. A century of ornament, exh.

4 Similar works were created in 1964 for his thesis. See SAIC students exhibition. Prologue, exh. School of Art Institute of Chicago (1964).

5 For the reconstruction of the sculpture ‘Discernement of Spirits’ given a grant by the Fundacion Jesus Soto, see Romero Barragan, Exh. Museo de Arte Moderno Jesus Soto, 1987.

6 See Rudolf von Bulow, Romero Barragan. Paco Railway Station, 1989.

7 A sort of precursor for the project at the Paco Railway station was a spatial intervention at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, for a show of futuristic home interirors. See Rod Paras Perez “Living in Art: abandoned buildings and living design in the future”. Exh. Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila, 1973, p 123rd

Biographical information

Romero Barragan (b. 1942 in Manila, d. 2014 San Juan)

1964 BFA from the School of Art Institute, Chicago
1978 Studio Practice, Hochschule der Künste Berlin, HdK

Solo exhibitions (selection)

1989 Last installation work at the Paco Railway Station, Manila
1987 Memories from Highway 54, Vargas Museum, UP Diliman
1987 Other Rooms, Other Worlds, Pinaglabanan Art Gallery, San Juan, Manila
1985 Museum Kunstplast, Dusseldorf, DE
1984 “Recent Work”, Charim Galerie, Vienna, Austria
1983 Archives of a Student Revolt, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila
1981 Hiperion, Hiraya Gallery, Manila
1980 Selected Drawings and Paintings, Heritage Art Center, Quezon City
1976 “Plans for a project never to be realized” Sining Kamalig Art Gallery, Manila
1975 “The Pedestals and their Art” Sining Kamalig Art Gallery, Manila

Group exhibitions (selection)

1982 Collector’s Show, Museum of Philippine Arts, Manila
1980
100 Years of Philippine Painting: 1880-1980, Madurodam Museum, The Hague, Netherlands 1979
Critic’s Choice, Ma-Yi Gallery, Mandarin Hotel Manila
1978
Warehouses, British Council sponsored exhibition, Spring Gardens, London, UK
1976
12th Grand Prix Internationale d’Art Contemporain de Monte Carlo, Museo Nacional de Monaco
Works on Paper, The Manila Hotel, Manila, Philippines
2nd CCP Annual, Cultural Center of the Philippines
Philippine Contemporary Art, Gallery of Fine Arts, Cairo, Egypt
1973 12 Young Emerging Artists, Club Filipino, Manila
1972 Drawings, Cultural Center of the Philippines

Selected Collections

Museum of Modern Art New York
Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Halle an der Saale Kunsthaus Zurich
Kunsthaus Stuttgart
MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Collection Ringier, Zurich
Collection Baron Albert Freyer

The Architecture of Experience

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Caroline Ongpin, 2010, Den and Bedroom, graphite on blueprint, 120 x 300 in. Installation View: UP College of Fine Arts thesis exhibition

Every art exhibition should arise out of a debt of love. In a manner that is easily apprehended and yet mystifying, a painting seizes upon our imagination by the space it gives us to feel and think. When we see a good painting, we hold on to an image of it long after we left the gallery mainly because we are compelled or attracted by something we have seen or thought about while viewing it. In the same sense, we are not the same when we leave a building, as we were when we entered it mostly because of its peculiar way of demarcating our movement and constricting or framing our view.

This proposed exhibition explores the connection between the similar experiences between paintings (also installations) 2 and architecture in the way it defines space and how we live. This exhibition is a result of the powerful transformative experience of art.

The concept for ‘Architecture of Experience’ dawned upon me while walking the side streets of Binondo—Manila’s Chinatown. After having lunch at President’s Palace (a building converted from an old cinema), I decided to look for some souvenirs and thereupon noticed the architecture of the houses and the buildings. Not that it is physically any different or special aside from being perpetually crowded and Chinese-looking but mainly because we were walking and in walking the streets we were pressed to experience the place. From walking, we noticed that in Binondo, rapid demolition to replace antique houses with high-rise offices and condominiums is common.

Old houses are now being phased out and those that are still standing, although fairly ordinary without special attention given, are remarkable in the way they have been adjusted.

1 Appropriated from George Steiner in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monograph (Phaidon, 2003) edited by Robert McCarter

2 The term ‘painting’ here will mean all gallery works including sculpture and installation. reconfigured to muddle through the ravages of time. Chinatown is remarkable precisely because decay, demolition and replacement has always been treated ordinarily. With the history behind the place, Chinatown is an interesting case in local urban development. Merely walking in its streets is an educational experience. This quality of a place and the quality of the experience I had is the thing I seek to communicate with others. Great works of architecture, like all great works of art, take hold of and shake us.

Victor Hugo once wrote about this experience saying that a piece of good architecture “is like a storm-wind, flinging open the doors of perception, pressing upon the architecture of our beliefs with their transforming powers.” (1) Though I do not intend to make Chinatown an integral part of this exhibition, as curator I sought to record the similar impact of other places that my selected artists have considered special. “To put their shaken houses in its previous order” in these chosen paintings and installations so that we can put in order the shaken houses of our minds. Through some primary instinct of communion, I seek to convey to others the quality and force of my experience which can also be found in the quality of good architecture. The goal is to persuade the viewer to see them released into space and the existences that occupy it. In this attempt at persuasion originate the insights that we would like to share with the community. There is no better way to present this other than through the intense and captive walls of a museum or gallery. To defamiliarize, to make the presentation as, Viktor Shlovsky would put it, ‘distinguished from practical language on the basis of the former’s perceptibility’ (2). I see it as a timely and even necessary reaction because of the present dominance of ‘information’ over personal perception in the understanding of architecture.(3) In our exhibit, we return to living with rather than examining the structure, striving to essay what makes architecture an art form in the first place.

According Jacques Rancière, after the recent ‘ethical turn of aesthetics’, art must now be either communally bonding or must partake of the sublime, and ‘bear witness to the unrepresentable’.

(4) Architecture is no exemption; we must see its function and significance amidst the context of a community that inhabits it. Art in general has been redefined more like architecture with Ranciere’s notion of its “communitarian function”—that of constructing a specific world space and with this also ‘a new form of dividing the common world’. (5) Ranciere’s view of the sublime prompts us to see through and not merely look at the artwork. By seeing through, I meant experience living with and placing importance on the immediacy of the ‘response’ that the artwork is making to its community. In other words, the encounter of painting with architecture is also the encounter of the painting and architecture with its community.

George Steiner wrote in his introductory essay for Frank Lloyd Wright’s monograph that “Today our ‘knowledge’ of the spaces and forms of architecture most often comes from media representations and verbal explanations—we need to be told what to remember about the space in which we are standing and how to ‘interpret’ the forms that shape our experience. It is rarely suggested in contemporary writings that our own actual experience of space has any value or should be the primary focus of study.” (6)

This has led, inevitably, to our general lack of capacity for visual and spatial memory, noted by Josef Albers; while most people can recall a musical tune, the visual memory is so poorly trained in standard education that few can accurately remember a ‘shape or form, the size of things, the extension of space and volume’.(7) That is Albers talking about a painting with regards to form. How much more if we take his insight combined with seeing what cannot be seen and presenting something that is deemed “unpresentable”—such as the discerning or perhaps contemptible scheme of painters painting in the manner of architects?

I eventually dispelled my anxieties about the feasibility of this exhibition as I underwent a kind of transformation along with my concept for the exhibition. This transformation is the thing that I would like to express visually (assuming that the curator and his artists’ visual memory is better trained than most) through the works I have chosen for this exhibition. The works here are heavily invested on the ‘experience’ of architecture and with regards to Alber’s comparison of painting to music; it will be like singing an old song to someone who has never heard it before. The fact is while we walk amongst buildings, live within houses and accumulate things, we rarely remember them structurally or recall its significance with the larger idea of place-making.

Experience of Architecture

Included in this exhibition are two works from the senior thesis exhibition at the UP Fine Arts. One is by Francis Commeyne, entitled “Cinematek: You can see real life in 3D”. This work evolved from his usual themes of forgetting processes and meanings attached with objects. Cinematek, essays his personal experience in connection with an old art-deco cinema in Belgium that shows 3D movies. The installation itself is made of a shipping crate he bought in North Harbor, Manila used as a video projection room that looks back at events in his life and objects and artifacts gathered from different destinations that evoke his personal nostalgia and his own reconfiguration of history in the context of his objects.

Also from this senior thesis exhibition are huge drawings on blueprints by Caroline Ongpin. Her works have often dwelt on the topic of impermanence of plans and erosion of purpose and intention represented by blueprints which present the ideal in contrast to hand drawings over these blueprints that depict the actual use of space. Her drawings are observations of the deviations of the occupants in an architect-designed house as well as the great separation between the dictation of plans and the escape of experience. I also wanted to include Mark Bradford’s installation entitled ‘Market>Place’ originally shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The work’s message rings similar to that of Commeyne and Ongpin in the way it tackles our understanding of public spaces. In ‘Market>Place,’ Bradford “wanted to create an environment that had something to do with trade, with public space, and the way people use it for pleasure, for business, for meetings, for secrets.” (8)

Ultimately he also essays the political element of occupying space and defining ‘a place’. I also have the intention of selecting paintings by Maria Helena Vieira de Silva, especially, “Século: XX,” “Paisaje Invisible” and “Construction” and Fernando Zobel’s works during his last decade that Rod Paras-Perez describes as more “architectural than painterly” and works that make “positive use of empty spaces (with) the capacity to create suggestive spaces” (9). Both artists abstracted from something seen. I have always regarded de Silva and Zobel as artists with effective ways to illustrate the inflexibility and clutter of structures and how these push the person beneath it into either repulsion or invisibility. As an interaction with the community that gave me the inspiration for this exhibition, I would collect objects and photographs supplied by Binondo residents and establishments and present some of them in the gallery in order to complete the essay of architecture contained in the works of the artists, with a touch of ‘artifactual’ reality. Like other genres of art, architecture involves the translation of multidimensional events and concepts into readable two-dimensional matter. Because of this process of translation, I see it as partly art and partly science. In the case of architectural drawing, directions and instructions are turned into lines, volume into contours, movement into shapes, ornamentation into line, colors into words, and words into marks. Marks that depend on established conventions or from on-the-spot improvisations, or constructed from a combination of the two.

Architecture translates the function and conduct of how we live into marks and delineations of walls, ceilings, doors and floors and I find it amusing that this process can also work in reverse as the artists I have chosen have proven.

The paintings, drawings and installation work to be presented in this exhibition will focus on the gaps and lapses within this relationship of architecture to human life. What I would like to call a ‘microcosm of a living space’ where art functions similar to that of an architectural design and reflects or projects its essence on the viewer. My goal as curator is to pursue reality or essence.

While my chosen artists have created it individually in their works, what I want is to express the connections between them all.

References

1. Levine, Neil. The Book and the Building: Hugo’s Theory of Architecture and Labrouste’s Bibliothèque Ste-Geneviève. The Beaux-Arts in 19th Century French Architecture, edited by Robin Middleton (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1982).

2. McCarter, Robert. Frank Lloyd Wright, The definitive monograph on one of the masters of modern architecture. Phaidon, 2003 Most parts of this curatorial brief were patterned after George Steiner’s introductory essay in Rober Frank Lloyd Wrights’ monograph.

3. Crawford, Lawrence. Victor Shklovski: Différance in Defamiliarization. Comparative Literature 36 (1984): 209-19. JSTOR. 24 February 2008 <http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0010- 4124%28198422%2936%3a3%3c209%3avsdid%3e2.0.co%3b2-6>.

4. Rancière, Jacques, Aesthetics and its Discontents, Polity Books, 2009, p. 119.

5. Rancière, ibid., p. 22.

6. McCarter, Robert, op. cit., p. 3.

7. Albers, Joseph., Interaction of Color, Yale University Press, 1963.

8. Bradford, Mark. Interview for “Market Place” installation at the Los Angeles CountyMuseum of Art. Art:21 Season 4 (Paradox) by PBS. http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/bradford/clip1.html#

9. Paras-Perez, Rod. Fernando Zobel, Eugenio Lopez Foundation, Inc, Manila, 1990, p. 57