Three things (2013/5) – The one on one edition

Here’s my periodic short list of things that might be of interest.

1. Fete de la WSK 2010 was, in hindsight, a memorable event. I got to see a large gramophone made of old records (a work by Kawayan de Guia) and a lot more besides. And this was where I had some of those encounters and moments that, again in hindsight, changed my life. There was, for instance, the time when I told a prominent singer that I liked this particular old hit of their band. But this was when I first met the Sipat Lawin Ensemble and the likes of Tad Ermitano, whose work for Visual Pond’s End Frame Video Art Projects 3 still remains one of my favorite works in that series. (Though the last one in the series, Yason Banal’s elaborate installation at the CCP, is very, very interesting. And pointed too.)

I saw this video about the 2010 festival made by Bigtop for the festival’s organizers, which made me reminisce a bit. See if you can find me trying to duck under Tad’s work so I could go to where Kawayan’s work was.

Tengal Drilon, the festival’s artistic director, has already given November as a tentative date for the 2013 staging, which I hope will improve on what 2011 had. (I have my own fond memories of the 2011 festival, including a first listen to a song which I’m currently looping as I’m writing this.)

2. This afternoon I will be at the Lopez Museum to see their new group show,¬†Grounded. I haven’t been to their space in a while, and this is something I would like to see. The Museum has had some good shows in the past few years, with the very occasional off note. For more information on this show, here is the Facebook event page.

3. Finally, the much-awaited Hall and Oates Night takes place at Saguijo in Makati City starting at nine tonight. For fans of the Eighties singer/songwriter duo, now’s your chance to reminisce and sing along. This has been in the works for some time now, so I am definitely looking forward to it.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Three things (2013/4) – Art Fairs and memorials edition

1. I was at Art Fair Philippines for two days in a row. It was truly a different art fair, in many ways. The tasteful way in which it was put together met my expectations, and I think it is head and shoulders better than a certain art fair about which I wrote in 2011. I did not even bother going last year; it would have been a waste of my time. In fact, most of the galleries represented at Art Fair Philippines did not even bother showing up, given the disastrous 2011 show with the stunt of switching off the lights at the opening night, an act one gallerist likened to “giving earplugs at a rock concert.”

Fortunately, some people felt that it could be done better. Without the support of the same government agency that funded that art fair, a grant which I still feel was an absolute waste of taxpayer’s money, the team behind the Art in the Park project were able to pull off what I think is a most credible event. They learned from the mistakes of the past; for instance, they decided to make this an invite-only affair, rather than impose exorbitant participation fees. They were able to get strong private sector support and not entirely rely on the State’s cultural arms. (The sole exception was a side event organized by the Cultural Center of the Philippines, whose visual arts head is close to the community of galleries represented therein. It was a most enlightening talk about the art market, but it lacked stuff which is best kept off the record.)

Since they chose a good number of the decent galleries I know, the art on offer was quite remarkable. Manila Contemporary’s selections included¬†Betsy Westerndorp’s skyscapes and Geraldine Javier’s recent work (on which I will speak about in a bit shortly). Elsewhere there was some interesting stuff, including a piece by Nona Garcia which is in a collection by another gallerist not represented here, and Mark Justiniani’s latest installation which plays on optical illusions of depth. But for me, this work by Dina Gadia at the Silverlens booth stood out:

Work whose title I forgot, Dina Gadia, 2013. Taken 8 February 2013 at Art Fair Philippines by me.

Work whose title I forgot, Dina Gadia, 2012. Taken 8 February 2013 at Art Fair Philippines by me.

This drew me almost immediately to it, because it turns out, as I was just informed, this was the painting that became this:

"Tama Na Ang Drama" album cover, Dina Gadia, 2012, for Ang Bandang Shirley. Courtesy Wide Eyed Records.

“Tama Na Ang Drama” album cover, Dina Gadia, 2012, for Ang Bandang Shirley. Courtesy Wide Eyed Records.

It was sold the day after I saw it. Hope the buyer’s a Shirley fan.

2. Meanwhile, this post on Philippine cinema deserves a re-reading because tomorrow is the late author’s birthday. To mark that occasion, Rock Ed Philippines will screen a film that I believe is a prime candidate for this wish’s fulfillment:

“I wish someone, anyone, would make a good, thought-provoking film about the Philippine upper class.”

Tomorrow, at one of that film’s locations, Route 196, the film will be screened at around 8 PM.

3. Finally, the Unvirtuous Abbey recommends that instead of giving up something for Lent, one could take something on. One such thing is an appreciation for art, learning to see how human creativity works and how it participates in divine creativity, no matter how fallen it has become, because it too was redeemed. On Ash Wednesday, Geraldine Javier’s new show opens at the Vargas Museum at around 4 PM, with a talk before that at 2 PM. On the first Friday of Lent, Yason Banal’s show for End Frame opens at the CCP at 6 PM.

Have a good week, and for those who will observe it, have a happy and holy Lent.

Three things (2013/3) – The Candlemas edition

Today is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, otherwise known as Candlemas. In Spanish, it is known as Candelaria, a name one can hear a lot around these parts.

1. After returning from Isabela early in the morning of Thursday, I went later in the evening to the press preview of the Philippine Educational Theater Association‘s new play D’ Wonder Twins of Boac, adapted by Rody Vera from one of my favorite Shakespeare comedies, Twelfth Night. I enjoyed watching the play, and I recommend it. Apparently, a lot of theater productions are opening in Metro Manila this month, so it is a really interesting time for theater buffs.

2. I understand that the band Extrapolation is launching their EP tonight (here’s more info on the Facebook event page for those on the network) and it’s the big final night of the Red Horse Muziklaban competition, but for the sake of convenience, I am dropping by Alphonse for the first GRRRL Scout gig of the year and Route 196 for Attraction! Reaction! The said gig marks, appropriately enough, the first gig of Boldstar for 2012. I say “appropriate” because their drummer, who did a film last year that made it to this festival at a ski resort in Utah, is back from the States.

3. Oh yes, speaking of that film director, she did this video for a band called Imago some years ago. Why I posted this today will remain, for now, a surprise.

Imago – Sundo from Marie Jamora on Vimeo.

Have a great Saturday everyone!