Friday, June 29, 2012

Cityzening...more talk not big talk

Anton del Castillo/ Black Baroque Committee/ Choon Lin Joo/ Esther Yip Lai Man/ Francis Yu/ Irma Lacorte/ Jaffa Lam/ Urich Lau/ Jason Wee/ Jittagarn Kaewtinkoy/ Kwok Hin Tang/ Ling Nah Tang/ Lukas Tam Wai Ping/ Luke Ching/ Mark Salvatus/ Michael Lee/ Mideo Cruz/ Mimi Tecson/ Preeyachanok Ketsuwan/ Ruthairat Kumsrichan/ Siu-Kee Ho/SongMing Ang/ Thosapol Boriboon/ Vichaya Mukdamanee/ Wantanee Siripattananuntakul/ Warawut Tourawong/ Wesley Valenzuela

Regarding our show at Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines, below are the details:

Duration of exhibit: 11Oct-10Nov 2012

Basement gallery: 6-10 October
Main gallery: 8-10 October
Lobby gallery: 10 October

Opening Reception c/o SIF! Connects Manila!: 11Oct, 6pm
Artist Talk: 11Oct, 4pm

            In the year that we have been asking questions about what, where, how, why and when of glocal in the art, the conversations kept coming back to the city

The what of the city? In these conversations, the city was defined as something more than a place or location. It is where the local and the global do exist, but do not matter. It is a dimension, an idea, an instance, an occasion and/or event that exists in the everyday and the other days.  It is not a boundary but the extent which cover preferences, choices, habits, actions and reactions. It is a system where material and soft goods are traded with or against necessities or luxuries for comfort or challenge.[i]

And it is through this system where the ability of man to reassign being is optimized. Reassigning being is not simply changing suit; it is the ability to adapt to change; it is the willingness to at least reflect and (eventually) adapt the new; by referencing or being mindful (at most times) to what was old, what was usual or what have been.  In this spirit, the citizen or people who live in the city are reassigned as the cityzen or people who are cities.  Cityzenship is what we experience or how we chose to experience where we are.  And that we are cityzens by virtue of how we act on what we chose to act on.[ii]

Cityzen is therefore a person of cerebral kinaesthesia. Artists as citizens maybe technically subjected to zip codes and taxes; being a cityzen is not. The potential of fluidity of cityzen is a condition that enables further opportunities for collaboration, expansion, inclusion, among others.

Cityzening [iii] (the act of) and cityzenship (the inclusion in the process or series of cityzening) are thought and actions of exercising the cerebral aerobics (to some extent acrobatics) that is vested on those who recognize it.

In Cityzening, the artists will exhibit works that represents their own view of their cityzenship.

What to show: is the choice of the artist. He/she may choose to exhibit whatever aspect of his/her “city or cityzenship”. It could be how he/she sees the physicality of his/her city, its dwellers, its habits, its markers, its activities or actions, its mannerisms, etc.

How to show: works in the exhibit are not limited by form. It could be anything from flat 2D works or performance or installation, etc.  It is required however that the works have to be inclusive or non-alienating to the audience except otherwise to alienate is what the artist is representing; in this case, the artist should be able to append a note that would expound on the work. 

Why of the show: The UP Vargas Museum is a University Museum. Its main agenda therefore is to educate.  The show should be able to contribute in the prevailing discourse or to encourage new discussion in the academia.

            And since cityzenship happens in the mind, the question we should answer: Where do “cityzens” reside?   

[i] Reference: Small talk during first satellite show revolved around inclusion and including (instead of dwelling on exclusion). Who belongs to a city and who has to work on belonging? Issues were raised regarding “the other” not being othered by finding an anchor. Riel relates that before he goes to a foreign place, he checks where the closest 7-11 is. 7-11 is his anchor. This is his point A, to be able to proceed to points B-Z. My anchor is the MRT/MTR/whatever train system. I get my bearing by locating myself viz the train system, not just towards places but more for orienting myself on the mobility (density, direction and destination) of people.
[ii] Reference from previous discussion: we are able to survive and make a life where we are not from, and it is not just for survival, but a choice for whatever reason including the mundane and the fantastic.  Like Wes and Mimi, who are deeply rooted in their own city-district, their origin, Sta. Cruz, they somehow find a way to bring it with them. As seen on the show, they pick-out icons from their Sta. Cruz and use them as elements in their work. We should take notice however, that Wes sees Sta. Cruz as a location.  It is a place in close proximity with other places; while for Mimi, Sta. Cruz is an activity, where events happen.  Jaffa, Francis, Preeya, Ruth, Warawut, LingNah and Riel are like them.  Meanwhile, Irma, being multi-local, does her “trading” everywhere at the same time and she belongs to this everywhere. She is a like a multi-socket adaptor.  Can plug as many cables; even power distribution is ensured. Based on discussions, she too anchors herself, but to the latest location and select memories of the past location that she allows herself to remember. Such that when she was “homing” in Dasmarinas, she started drawing flowers (to over simplify for sake of illustration)! Her case is similar to Win, Anton, WaiPing, Wantanee and myself.   Mideo and Salvatus are non-local, much like Urich and Michael.  They don’t exactly belong to a space, they belong to an idea.  It seems that they need not exert effort to adapt because they were adaptors by design. I wish I knew all of you a bit better to include in the groupings; unfortunately, not.  My grouping might not be 100% accurate after all. Feel free to revise me or add more.
Summary: there are at least 3 types of cityzens: origined local-those who bring their origin to where they are; multi-local-those who make home in every destination; and non-local those who have their homes in their hard drives.
[iii] Cityzening may refer to the ease of traffic through and within the structure and network of the metropolis, not simply as a place but also an organic life form of its own.  It is a correspondence between the mental map of the city within its citizens and the actual locus that is, it is a reference to places of worship, domicile, recreation, coffee and cigarette breaks, study, sex, etc.  Cityzening arises from the agreement of memory and consciousness and is spontaneous, unflinching even, in its engagements, and comprises what Husserl and Bretano may call the lifeworld. [entry from Riel Hilario]

Dayang Yraola

In partnership with:

Supported by:

Special acknowledgement to:
Sheroick Noel & Millet Yulo

Julius & Marian Cabalse
Jose Claudio Guerrero
Bajo & Sol Maris Zaldua
Marc Gaba