February 11, 2017

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

It’s literally the day of the deadline, and I still haven’t started on this blog post–

I mean, fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

What was the format for this post again? I should check the instructions. But now, reading through them the first–what, five times? Didn’t really help me understand any better.

Maybe I should ask Ives.

 

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From across a classroom half-filled with Grade 9 students taking their diagnostic test for NSTP (of which we’re proctoring) Ives sends me a thumbs up highlighted with a grin.

Okay. Okay.

My head feels floaty. I gotta remember next time staying out until half-past one in the morning the day before an 7:45 AM class is a horrible idea. Fuck Camille for being absent today. Now I can’t sleep on the job.

I shoved everything I thought I’d need today in my bag earlier this morning.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. I have my notebook for FA102 with me.

The sound of flicking pages is loud in the classroom. Hell, yeah. Now I have something to work with. The next blog post is supposed to talk about what topics we wanna raise with our final themes, and how we plan to approach that theme. Each topic is supposed to have, like, 4-6 sentences divided into two paragraphs.

It’s 10:10 AM. I’ve had 3 hours of sleep.

I’VE BEEN THROUGH WORSE. I CAN FUCKING DO THIS.

 

Theme 1: Sexuality

Sexuality in the Philippines has become“taboo” mainly due to Catholic intervention. This is evident even in the societal restrictions imposed upon the image of sex and marriage, the concept of virginity, and the topic of sexual desire and its repercussions on the eternal soul. I know that there are readings that tackle both the pre-colonial Filipino’s perception of sexuality and how the Catholic Church influenced how Filipinos should view sex and sexuality.


 

NSTP is finished. I’m home now. It’s 4:09 PM. Let’s do this.

 


 

I believe I can address this issue by approaching it through critiquing the hypocrisy presented by the Catholic Church towards the Filipinos, most especially during the time of the Spanish colonization. One of my first ideas includes the manufacturing of a stained-glass window/sculpture/any form of art that someone would expect to see in a church, and then subvert the usual image being presented within. Instead of stained glass windows that depict Jesus in the usual Christian scenes,

 

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I plan on installing windows whose imagery reflects the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. I have no idea how I plan to do that yet though without the proper reading materials to support my assertions. So far, all I have is maybe I could change the picture of a crucified Jesus into the image of a white priest looking down upon Filipino natives having sex with each other, regardless of gender. The priest would be surrounded by a halo of light, and surrounding him would be scantily-dressed nuns who cover up their faces. They would appear to be weeping. I have no idea how to make stained glass windows, nor do I have the money to commission something as huge as this. But this idea seemed… fitting to me.

 

Is this even correct?

Fucking shit. I fell asleep. It’s already 7:05 PM. The deadline is 11:59 PM.

AHHHHHHHH—

 

Topic 2: Time

Time is a weird thing, especially for an Atenean who tries to be active in all his orgs while trying to attain a decent semestral QPI to maintain his scholarship at the same time. It feels like I’m supposed to be doing something for every second of the day.

The concept of time has long been something that artists have put into paint, sculpture, installation, and writing. People at Huffington Post even wrote an article that celebrated “Father Time” with the coming of 2014 (titled: “10 Famous Artworks That Celebrate Father Time”). From brief glances at all of them, I could see that all of them aimed to draw attention to the completely abstract nature of time.

That won’t be what I would be focusing on; the focus of my artwork would lie on my responsibilities as a student/scholar/brother/human being. Inspired by Felix Gonzales-Torres’ installation titled “Untitled (Perfect Lovers)”,

 

moma_perfect_lovers

Source: http://www.catch-fire.com/2011/11/felix-gonzales-torres-untitled-perfect-lovers-1987-1991/

 

I hope to make mine an interactive exhibit of sorts: two phones, side by side, held up to the wall. The phone on the left would be open to the “Clock” application, and the other to the phone’s call log book. People can scroll down and look through the alarms in the right phone. The left phone would only have one number, which people can call. Someone/a voice mail will answer them. The goal is for the caller to realize that the person he or she was supposed to “talk” to has been dead for quite some time.

 

Holy shit ??? I’m almost done ???

7:47 PM. Time for a break.


Topic 3: Religion

When Filipinos think of religion, I can guess that the first thing that pops into their minds would be Catholicism. 86% of the population is Roman Catholic (source: http://asiasociety.org/education/religion-philippines). And when people usually think of Catholicism, it’s not hard to think of it as a way of “seeing things”: maybe it’s a way for them to reassure themselves of how the misfortunes in their lives are temporary. Maybe the belief in an all-knowing, all-seeing, benevolent and forgiving God helps them to sleep better at night. Maybe the belief in a preordained grand plan for everyone’s salvation eases their conscience when they realize that they sometimes don’t do enough to better society. “Bahala na si God.”

I learned a lot about the culture of pre-colonial Philippines in Fil 14. But probably one of the most interesting things I learned is that the Catholic viewpoint of the afterlife certainly isn’t the only one. The indigenous tribes had their own spiritual beliefs, their own way of seeing the world. When the Spanish came, they eradicated the majority of that belief system; labeling our own deities and supernatural creatures as demons and devils, abolishing the animistic religious practices, and establishing their own religion as dominant. Catholicism wasn’t always just a way of looking at the world. Before, it was a tool used by the West to colonize us.

How must it have felt for the people before, to have their very own beliefs and even their gods turned against them? I want to make people aware that what current Filipino society implies about how Catholicism is inherently good isn’t 100% accurate. Catholicism has a dark side to it. And the people should know about it. But more than that, I think that for the people to fully comprehend the depth of what religion has taken away from us, that feeling of loss has to be adapted into something that contemporary Filipino experience can relate to. My idea for this one was inspired by a video my professor made our class watch during a session once. In it, there were women wearing yellow scarves on their person and they were tasked with splitting up into groups and talking about feminism. Passers-by could stop and listen in on their conversations, but they weren’t allowed to interrupt.

My idea would go a little bit like that. The venue could be in a church, and the dialogue would be in between someone dressed up as a priest and another dressed up like a civilian. I want to treat it like a confession. Participants could sit in and listen in on their conversation, but won’t be allowed to interrupt.

 

9:43 PM.

Hell to the fucking YES.

Now, all I have to do is edit out the spelling and grammar and shit and I’m good to post this on my WordPress.

Huh. Running on 3 hours of sleep (plus a 3-hour nap), this isn’t as bad as I expected it to be.

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One thought on “February 11, 2017

  1. 1. This is already a potentially rich topic — I would ask you, however, to truly /recover/ why this is potentially important for you, why this is a potentially important topic. I appreciate that you already have a working image for this, which can serve as a stable metaphor you can keep coming back to depending on whatever form the project takes. The reason I ask you to rethink it in this way, is so that we can make sure that the project goes past simply displaying images that try to subvert the generalizations we have with regards to religion. It is easy to propose contrasting images, but with regards to subversion, we should have all our bases covered.

    Now with regards to medium, I think that you will have to take into account medium /you yourself/ are familiar with, so that the the project will not only be doable but also inevitably personal. I am going to ask you here now to investigate your own feelings with regard to the topic: what do you feel about this current portrayal of our sexuality, and what is the real role of religion in this portrayal? After that: what do you want to see change out of it, or how do you want things to be? From those desires, you can come up with a more nuanced artwork!

    2. This is something I can appreciate conceptually, and what comes to mind is also the physical effect of time, a kind of being torn apart from particular moments, and I’m glad that there is already an installation in mind. However, much like the first topic, I would ask you to be more personal with this, as “time” itself does not necessarily feel like a topic people would consider on a very personal and intimate level unless it concerns an actual person. What are your feelings on time? Is this installation a transformed version of a personal experience you have? Reflect more on time’s role, especially in your personal life!

    3. Ay, I literally have here the same comment for number one. In fact, I would ask you to deal with both, and merge them as a potentially ambitious (but doable) topic. Again, deal with this on a personal level, and then find a way to translate that personal understanding into a powerful work!

    Like

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