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Exhibition on social issues unveils three new films

Stations of a Nation, an on-going exhibition of commissioned artworks centered on the journey of nation building, has recently added three films presenting the country’s current national issues.

Exhibition on social issues unveils three new films
Damnation -- Single-channel video – 9 mins 30 sec, 2018 Manny Montelibano
Featured are the works of visual and video artist Manny Montelibano, the Director of the Institute of the Moving Image at the University of St. La Salle Bacolod, who has closely collaborated with the student-artists of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) for the Stations of a Nation, which are on view all throughout the College’s School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus. 

Backplates of Pasay Road is a single-channel video taken from the top of a hotel in Arnaiz Street in Makati City. It shows a group of construction workers busy fixing the drainage system in the middle of the street while they remain nonchalant to the passing passersby and roaming vehicles. The video depicts the country’s current urban setting with its issues on security, survival, and economic development. Backplates of Pasay Road showcases events as the subject of discourse in contrast with the continuous movements in the background. 

Damnation, another single-channel video that uses an audio layer to reflect the status quo in Philippine society, illustrates an inverted and precarious view of the Manila cityscape where inhabitants continuously fall as black sperm-like figures infiltrate the surroundings. While the artwork’s visuals interpret the strangeness and disarray of the local community as it tries to recover from its devastated past, the audio echoes Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s homily-like speech where he called God stupid, explaining the creation of Adam and Eve and why He created the snake to seduce Eve to sin.

The short scenes featured in the channels of Exhaustion – Termperatura, a five-channel video housed in SDA’s five elevators, encapsulate the living conditions in the city that when summed up may lead to a problematic society. Maali Alone in the City narrates the sad story of the elephant who was born, raised, and is currently the sole living elephant in Manila. Today, Maali is stuck at the Manila Zoo trying to survive by entertaining the spectators. 

Under the LRT, taken in Baclaran, depicts a road in Manila where the market scene continues to congest the pathways and afflict mobility in the city. 

Manila 24hr fire records the tragic fire at the Manila Pavilion Hotel and shows how even an army cannot stop the fire within hours. Palaspas (Palm Sunday) showcases how Filipino Catholics use their faith as an event to bond with their family and loved-ones in the midst of urbanity. Our Hero illustrates how the historical monument of the national hero Jose Rizal may be guarded but not totally protected as a residential building rises in the background. 

“The country is in danger,” Montelibano noted. “That’s how I see it,” he added.

Inspired by the traditional Catholic Stations of the Cross, the collaborative exhibition, produced through Benilde’s Center for Campus Art (CCA) headed by its Director Architect Gerry Torres, has now revealed its 11 installations, and will feature a total of 14 engaging artworks of different mediums by January 2019. 

The first four art installations Bahala na si Batman, Sala, Train, and Felipe, which launched Stations of a Nation, were unveiled early this year during the Holy Week, while the second wave, composed of P****ina* (Pilipinas), Patintero, and Blinds, were inaugurated in the middle of the year. 

Stations of a Nation can be viewed at the College’s School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus, 950 Pablo Ocampo (Vito Cruz) Street, Malate, Manila. 

Topics: Stations of a Nation , Manny Montelibano , Jose Rizal , Rodrigo Duterte
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