Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Check out Beat exhibit @ Lopez Museum

Ernest's "Hidalgo, the super multi-dimensional time bandit"
If you want something fresh and different, visit the Lopez Museum at the ground floor of Benpres Building on Exchange Road and check out its current exhibit called Beat.

Husband and wife Chit and Eileen Ramirez curated the exhibit playing with the double entendre of Beat - which can be interpreted as defeat (verb) or rhythm and movement (music).  The exhibit features commissioned works from two contemporary artists Nikki Luna and Ernest Concepcion, juxtaposed against 19th and 20th century masters from Lopez Museum's private collection particularly that of Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo.

Chit said [watch Cityscape clip below] "we wanted to engage the audience to think about what Beat is for them. It is a nice discourse how people would view old masters' works and the contemporary works."  Eileen explains in her curatorial notes  "...By staying on the present tense rather than as the more definitive 'beaten', this exhibition also conscripts the energies of artists Nikki Luna and Ernest Concepcion to effect stagings of confrontation with the difficult the resistant and even the impossible."

Nikki's "Precious and Fertile" installation 
And so Nikki presents her advocacy, her concern for the plight of the farmers of Hacienda Luisita and the various issues faced by indigenous people in their ancestral lands. She said "art should talk about what's happening especially those who are not able to articulate their problem and issues that are usually ignored." For her Precious and Fertile installation, china bone pipes hang atop a mound of soil with a portion of a video documentary on Hacienda Luisita projected on the wall. And for Azucera,  she shaped sugar into diamond resins to represent the value of sugar as produced by farmers.

Spotted Ernest drawing in one of the galleries
Ernest, on the other hand, is creating an epic piece in his Hidalgo, the super mutli-dimensional time bandit installation. He said "I wanted to challenge what the museum has to offer... kind of an action-reaction dynamic."  His artwork is a work-in-progress, spilling out unto the other parts of the museum including the main hallway, unto walls which hang the permanent collection of the museum.

Chit said that at one point their works will connect because of what Ernest is doing. He is hopeful that this will come in to fruition at the end of the six months that Ernest is in Manila (he is based in New York) or at the end of the exhibition run in October. So, if you're lucky like me, you may catch Ernest in action.  

Don't miss Myra Beltran's Mi Ultimo Adios (excerpt from Itim Asu, running time of 5:07) and go all the way down to the Library and view the studies of Hidalgo. The museum is open everyday from 8am to 5pm except Sundays. Tip - do ask for a guided tour and check out their note cards and notebooks for only P100! 

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