Otherwise: Exhibition Note

in circumstances different from those present or considered; or else.
“the collection brings visitors who might not come to the college otherwise”
synonyms: or, or else, if not
“hurry up, otherwise we’ll be late”
in other respects; apart from that.
“an otherwise totally black cat with a single white whisker”
synonyms: in other respects, apart from that
“she’s exhausted, but otherwise she’s fine”
in a different state or situation.
“if it were otherwise, we would be unable to acquire knowledge”
A show of small, tidy works on paper at the Gallery 1 of the Faculty Center, UP Diliman designates the UP Artists’ Circle Fraternity (AC), one of the oldest art organizations in the Philippines, as the jack of a sudden fashion for reliable abstract expressions in puzzling guises. For the fun it’s ultra-cool. Their special (though of the same mold) compositions deploy symphonies, of origamis and new paths to old escapes, arrays, and other generic forms in schemes of bland color: white, dirty white, and caffeinated peach. The Artists’ Circle is fond of illusionistic tricks that either malfunction flat-out (dyslexic shadows, curveless depressions and emotional rock-hardiness) or, amazingly, exceed expectations (cheap-shots). The effects feel smart: painting about painting like thinking about thinking, without intermission and beyond enjoyment. Most of all, the group is at pains to evoke associations with both the visible world and other art. Their messages (collectively taken) is a delusioned triumph that appeals to a post-post-painting generation of viewers who, having rediscovered the protracted rebellious joys of pictorial abstraction, want to dive into them without the nuisance of boning up on art history or theory first.

Different times and places are captured in layers in Bueza’s concept of mistake. Paper plays a role in tracing a non-linear origin. Likewise the idea of paper being able to bring its own stories, baggages or set a conclusion on journeys relates to many works in this gallery, where paper is presented as a medium that transforms abstract ideas into tangible documents, contracts and books. The paper as material is generally different because of its tactile nature and texture and that you know that each piece is a cropping of larger one. You know this because like in fiction some deliberate fallacies are included to tell a story behind it- a story with its imperfections and own personal characteristics that are there to give flavor. We feel through these works the beginning not seen and an end far in the future. It’s something in between.

In Valenzuela’s work where bus tickets of recycled paper quality are framed or hung in multiple flanks to emphasize a running story. A progression of time shown through the color stories in turn show different emotional states from beginning to end.

Like those two works mentioned, “Otherwise” is an exhibit of circumstance where ideas like Time and Emotion are presented in seemingly disparate images like bulldozers, mailboxes, skin-color, and fire. Eventually the focus is set on each image in each exhibit, but this exposition and its use of paper is, about paper being a thing to burn us all up.

Otherwise opens at Faculty Center Gallery 1, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City on May 19, 2008.

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