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October 21, 2010


BLIND FIELD: Photography and Place, Curated by Wawi Navarroza
with Yason Banal, Ringo Bunoan, Bea Camacho, Jed Escueta, Thomas Kellner, Jet Melencio, Renan Ortiz, Beatrix Pang + Peter Piller + Sushan Chan, Rachel Rillo, Gerardo Tan, Maria Taniguchi, MM Yu
October 27, 2010, Wednesday

“Blind Field,” as lifted from Roland Barthes’ seminal text on photography, Camera Lucida, refers to a kind of ‘double vision’ that happens in cinematic space, the screen, the space for suspension of disbelief, set in a static place wherein you are taken into another world, not always phantasmagorical but something closer to the limbic, something closer to memory, yet not quite. In this context, the curator has extended the location of Blind Fields into translucent “soft places” generated by photographs.

Blind Field: Photography and Place, Wawi Navarroza’s curatorial debut, is a nonchalant safari field trip into a garden of explored territories and constructions.

The exhibition brings together the works of 14 contemporary artists working with photography (locally and abroad) who engage in ideas of “Place” around or beyond the traditional use of the medium. Rather than being about “moments captured once and for all (Helder)”, the works draw attention to: (1) where it was taken; (2) where it is placed; and (3) where it will take you.

The works go further than the physical place – the location, topography and architecture – and explores what imminent theorist Michel Foucault calls Heterotopias (sites neither here nor there although they may be rooted to actual places).

The group show moves away from the passive appreciation of hung photographs into a more direct engagement with the viewer who is physically compelled to move about and encounter the work as ‘sites’. The gallery space, a blind field (‘something already there’ but not seen), is activated as a cultivated habitation: the location where new situations out of these encounters take place.

Blind Field, ultimately, is an invitation into a reconnaissance of contemporary photography. It unabashedly presents the democracy of today’s photographs and its abstractions: photographs as documentations, records, index; as vernacular images or snapshots; as site-specific interventions; as flat objects or sculptural components to spatial installations/assemblage, photographs as projections/video; photographs dictated by process, performance; or photographs as immaterial images in meta-spaces.

Disrobed off the glamour of the fine art print and observed from a clinical gaze, the works shine as clear commentaries to Photography’s ultimate paradox: that of freezing fixed evidences, at the same time, being pliable and mutable to placements and meaning; absent and present at the same time; here and also somewhere somehow.

BLIND FIELD: Photography and Place runs simultaneously with Wet Paint by Elaine Roberto-Navas, curated by Roberto Chabet in SLab and August by Maya Muñoz in 20SQUARE.

For inquiries, contact Silverlens Gallery at 2/F YMC Bldg. II, 2320 Pasong Tamo Ext., Makati, 816-0044, 0917-5874011, or Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 10am–7pm and Saturdays 1–6pm. /

Words: Wawi Navarroza