Sunday, December 2, 2007


An art exhibition by jong pairez
Phase two [November 10]
Phase three [December 1]
Art Talk [December 15]
Irregular Rhythm AsylumShinjuku, Shinjuku-kuTokyo, Japan[site]
About the Exhibition
This first solo exhibition uses combination of various media and medium not just for presentation but also to conduct studies and observation of Displacement and Geography. Hence, this exhibition is rather a project of sorts than a mere aesthetic presentation of objects that we commonly see in art galleries.To enable studies and observation of Displacement and Geography, the exhibition is divided into three parts, resembling the process of migration, namely, Phase One: Pre-departure, Phase Two: Departure, Phase Three: Arrival. Although each of these individual phases is independent from one another and will be exhibited separately, all of them will converge in the last phase- but not to conclude the whole exhibition but to simply observe how these three phases has its own singular narrative.
The first phase is a creative prank. The idea is to create a mythical character out of Jong Pairez mysterious disappearance, in a form of a prank, to his network of friends online. From here, a created mythical character will replace the real Jong. The mythical character will be named as Jean Makisig- a native androgynous personality that is somewhat reminiscent to Marcel Duchamp’s alter ego Rrose Selavy. H/She will act as a chronicler informing us latest sightings of the disappeared character- Jong Pairez.The prank is an Art Performance that will only occur in the Internet. As the chronicles progress, Jean Makisig will later on develop into a multi-username where anyone is freely encouraged to use. Therefore, anyone who participates in searching of Jong Pairez from his mysterious disappearance will become Jean Makisig.Why make myths? The advent of storytelling is the proliferation of mythologies that started since the early stages of man. Mythologies are actual examples of displacing factual situations to fictitious realities. Thus, the said online art performance will show us the process of how displacement of facts to fiction works. In the case of Philippine folklores, for example, the pre-colonial mythologies and oral stories of local inhabitants changed radically since after the colonialists arrived. The alteration or rather de-territorialization of pre-colonial folklores to fakelores, which in the end became favorable to the colonialists, had served successfully in displacing the mindset of every local inhabitant. Hence, it also served the victory of colonial rule in the islands. Furthermore, a unique postcolonial hybrid identity emerged out of this.The “mysterious disappearance” of the real character Jong Pairez and at the same time giving birth to a mythical person Jean Makisig is homage to this unfortunate yet amazing reconstruction of a Filipino hybrid identity that was then forcibly displaced by waves upon waves of colonization. In addition, this homage to the unfortunate displacement and wonderful morphology of native inhabitants from their pre-colonial origins, hopes to confuse any established mindset and predetermined situations in the present setting.
Displacement requires dislocation of objects and space, which transforms the physicality of its geographical landscape. Only by having conscious awareness of its previous arrangement (of space and objects) that displacement is observed.The second phase of this exhibition is a documentation of all possible objects that occupies the exhibit venue. By categorizing the space into five parts and catalog indexing the objects, we will now be aware of how the previous placement of things might possibly change overtime (note: the exhibit venue will be renovated before December). This process of observation gives us also the opportunity to perceive these objects as Art in itself. However, the exhibition does not give emphasis to the artistic aura of these objects but the complete awareness of geographical transformation through displacement of these objects.Migration is synonymous to Displacement, which is why from here the New World Order has to use the tool of census and statistics in observing the growth and movement of its population. Census and statistics also provides data in legitimizing the necessity of controlling geographical borders from threats of incoming migrants. No wonder we have immigration control, passports, visas and whatnot racial profiling as well. These are means of control that fortifies patriarchal domestication and prohibits the natural inter-cultural exchange of human beings that is crucial to the evolution of cultural and physical geography.
Besides passports and visas we have surveillance cameras, border police and anti-migrant policies that sustain geography in constant sterilization. In other words, New World Order is a surveillance society who is in permanent panic against the existence of the Other. This kind of panic has developed its own physical landscapes that enable systems of control to prevail in daily life.The third phase of this exhibition is to play with these systems of control that take-hostage the present physical landscape. Definitely, pedestrian lanes, phone boxes, surveillance cameras, etc. shall be the target of this playful recreation. From here we symbolically displace the systems of control away from its original function and finally continue the quest of transforming geography according to our own will. The domination of corporate industries in the monopoly of truth shall be replaced with urban legends and myths engraved on each and every landscape that has been liberated.
By Jean Makisig

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