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The Surface of The World: Architecture and The Moving Image

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Our school is having an ongoing exhibition at our very own contemporary art museum, MCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art and Design) called:

the surface of the world

It runs from June 06, 2014 until September 27, 2014. If you are from Manila, Philippines or from abroad, you are very welcome to view the exhibition. It has free admission, too! Click here and here to know more about the details of the exhibit.

(c) Benildean Press Corps Photo by Joaquin Talan

The entrance of the MCAD
(c) Benildean Press Corps
Photo by Joaquin Talan

The exhibit transformed the MCAD into a dark two-floor exhibition space. Every art work was a form of short film and video installation. International artists and a local artist were chosen by the curator of the exhibit, Clare Carolin. Moving on from the important details of the exhibit, there is an art work that I found very interesting among all the other video installations in the exhibit.


Isaac Julien’s “Enigma” (2014)

The first art piece that caught my attention was Isaac Julien’s Enigma (2014). It is a time-lapse composite of 2500 still photographic images shown from an LCD TV on a wall. At first, I was not able to notice that those were a series of photographs. It amazed me to read the art piece definition after staring at it for a couple of minutes. It showed the city of Dubai and the activities that happen to it within 24 hours from a distant point of view. Thinking about how the artist was able to compile thousands of photographs from a semi-bird’s eye view was exemplary. Truly, technology is continuously developing throughout the world, even in the field of the arts. Being included in the exhibition, Enigma was the only time-lapse composite art work that showed a landscape of the city of Dubai. But knowingly, it is not an ordinary landscape time-lapse composite images. It suggests a deeper meaning about Dubai and its economy.

The Surface of The World exhibition suggests that the architecture of structures became part of the environment of us, human beings. Film or the “moving image” has its own boundaries within the building structures. But does it really mean that the artists can be bounded by these things or will they creatively perceive the world around them? In Isaac Julien’s Enigma, he represented the idea of capitalism (in terms of Economics) at the city of Dubai. Within that not-totally-a-landscape art piece, the city was shown as alive: the people in it and the buildings. What made these buildings among the vast field and ocean in Dubai city were the people who were existing in the photographs of the artist. But most of all, it is the capitalist system that made the city live like this. Isaac grasped the idea of capitalism in his art work, the Enigma which literally means mysterious.

Escolta and Art

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Escolta and Art

I can say that this is a “Real Junior Now” semi-part two blog post of mine. Check the “Real Junior Now” here, if you want to read it: This will be a deeper and more personal blog post for me, and it will be a bit artsy (I hope not).

As I said in my recent blog post, I went to Escolta. I walked from Quiapo church to Escolta which takes less than a kilometer, I guess. While walking, I was observing the surroundings and the landmarks I passed by: the Quiapo church, the Quinta Market, the people who were selling, along with those buying in the sidewalk, the BPI building, and the other old buildings found along the Escolta street. I appreciated the architecture of the old buildings, particularly its neo art deco style. My previous subject, Philippine Art and Design History, made me appreciate the Philippine architecture during the early 20th century. Escolta was being eyed on by groups of people who are interested in the cultural heritage lately, I suppose.

During my stay in the organization’s office, I learned a lot from the curator-speaker-lecturer that time. She made me realize that it’s not really more about the art or the “object” made. It is more about the artist – his/her experiences and creativity as an artist. It inspired me to promote the artists more. It made me feel more of being an arts manager. She taught me to look at the artists differently, that they are human beings like us. The only difference is that art is their way of life and, their creativity never leaves them. Their mind and wild imagination keeps them living and breathing. Just the thought of it keeps me motivated to push through becoming an arts manager in the near future.