Geraldine Javier: Stuck in Reverse
Solo exhibition at ARNDT Berlin
15 November 2013 - 25 January 2014
There are clear and often opposing tendencies in Philippine art: nostalgic representations of peasant life, social realism, conceptual art and works that are anti-Catholic. Geraldine Javier (1970 born in Manila, The Philippines; lives and works in Quezon, The Philippines) has responded against all these tendencies to create a complex and dynamic body of work. Images of rural life and nature recur in her work, but are far from reassuringly comfortable. What she takes from the social realists is a concern with painting things and people well, but her position is a more personal one - one that may be defined more as moral than political, and as implicit rather than explicit.
The exhibition at ARNDT is an important landmark for her as paintings, objects and installations are not presented separately, but as organically blended together in five works. Moreover, the whole exhibition is conceived and should be experienced as a larger entity.
Five tents covered with hammered leaves shelter one painting each and act as refuges for other objects. Tucked behind the paintings for the curious to find these objects may seem to be secrets of the imagination or the memory.
“The show was conceptualized when I bought a two-hectare/acre farm land in batangas province, two hours land travel from Manila. It made me very nostalgic for my childhood, though not exactly pretty, but I was particularly longing for that time spent playing outdoors. So the fabric 'playhouse' I constructed to house the painting is about living within the safety of a structure and yet integrated with the outdoors. The painting and tent also serve as a vehicle for not only recalling but fabricating memories as well, creating fantasies that are closely woven into my desires, a summation of the past, present and future.” Geraldine Javier, 2013