The exhibition Without a Murmur provides a space where art nudges each other towards an exploration of its internal complexities, and perhaps, a slow acceptance of the spaces wherein these considered thoughts can enter the other artworks.Without a Murmurs's main idea is time and how one can challenge it or simply conform with it. The organization of the artworks throughout the exhibit is highly chronological and minimalist, and if one is not careful enough, he might miss an artwork and simply take it as an architectural fault. Since most artworks come in video clips that runs eleven to thirty seven minutes, they are a true test of patience. Intelligently though is that they don't arrive dull and boring, but rather complex and calming that the audience will surely savor the time he is given to pause, either to let his eyes be soothed or let his mind do some further interpretations. There are of course, some bold representations of art, and there are no less than excellent as the others. They let the viewer speak for them, rather than they speak for themselves, just how a true art form should be.
Maria Taniguchi's Figure Study is composed of a 37 minutes HD video and two earthenware installations. The video shows two digging men of Dumaguete in search of the clay that were used to make the two earthenwares that lie beside the television platform. This depicts that transcending nature of art: that most of the time, the process and not the art itself is the center point of artistry.
The video is crisp and cinematic. It gives the viewer the feeling of being one of those men digging for the clay. There is nothing in it but the sound of their shovel hitting the rocks and the natural lighting given by the sun that is wonderfully stenciled by the trees around the two men. The flat earthenawares speak for themselves too: they lay unnoticed and stoic while undergoing man-made decay, probably symbolizing how nature can not go against the destruction of men and of nature itself.
Roderico Jose Daroy's Untitled (Anus of the Sun) is a set of installations with an aging wall, a bed of grass, an obelisk where the main installation is placed on top, and an aging painting behind. The decaying wall is a patina of soiled surface, where Daroy exorcises the clean finish of tiles with moistened earth dripping, crying onto a receptive grass of an almost garden.
The grass was once luscious and green, but due to some natural circumstances, half of it has already been withered. This somehow says that even men push their best to eradicate the idea of death, there is nothing they can do with it. The wall and the painting, on the other hand, challenges the natural process of death. One can never tell how beautiful they have been once because of the soil and the cobwebs that cover both of them; symbolizing a man's thorough acceptance , excitement even, over the idea of perishing. Also, they represent the idea on how art can go beyond the boundaries parchments and frames. Lastly, the obelisk and its main installation covered with granite stands with the idea of time, as they are once used as clocks during the ancient times. As they stand in the middle of the wall, the painting, and the bed of grass, one can surmise that Daroy is trying to send the idea of time standing between its mean: life; and its inevitable end: death.
At Maculangan's Terminal is a video clip that runs for 11 minutes.
The Terminal is the biggest artwork on the exhibit, and it somehow serves as the backdrop of the other artworks. It shows an immobile airplane and the busy people around it. Perhaps it tries to connote the feeling of being stoic in spite of all the rushing and hustling that is happening around one's life. It stands as a natural and unscathed representation of everyman's life.
Lani Maestro's cine-ma is an installation with rear projection that runs for 16 minutes and 9 seconds.
Visitors will more or less miss out cine-ma if they don't have an observing eye. It has a window-like experience that brings the audience the feeling that they are seeing the videos right at the balcony of their own house. It capitalizes on the nostalgic tendencies of man as it pushes everyone to dig on their memory to arrive on an interpretation for the artwork.
Lani Maestro's mon-afrique is a video clip of Africa's nightsky caged on a four-walled room that is solely ventilated by its door.
Mon-afrique completely juxtaposes people's stereotypical ideas over Africa. As people think about vagabonds and wilderness, mon-afrique shows a calm and soothing movement of the clouds as they passes through the moonlight. It also contradicts the whole idea of the art exhibit, it sits with a murmur. It is a place of solace away from the bewildering ideas, motion pictures and sounds, brimming the whole art exhibit. A sort of a place of recession for the minds of the visitors.
Lani Maestro's audio piece resonates, a whispering sound mimicking nature with a repetition of phrases that begin with "this region" conversing with Taniguchi's video clip of Dumaguete clay diggers. This set of audio clips stand as my personal favorite.
One may never understand the phrases uttered through the speakers if he will just stand right below one of them, but rather he should walk through each and everyone of them in full concentration. It gives the idea on how life will sound like if people will attempt to challenge its natural time phase, which is of course, the most prevalent idea of the whole art exhibition itself. As it goes, it utilizes the whole art exhibit's ideals: time and space.
Without a Murmur exhibits the wonders of time and space and the ideas they entail such as life and death. These are the concepts people neglect most of time in spite of the fact that they constantly live through it. At the end of the day however, art is a personal experience, and everyone has their own personal lenses to look through such wonderful creations.
* Without a Murmur is an art exhibition showcasing the works of Rodecrico Jose Daroy, At Maculangan, Lani Maestro and Maria Taniguchi. Exhibition runs until February 13, 2013 at MCAD Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, G/F De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, School of Design and Arts Campus, 950 P. Ocampo St., Malate Manila. Museum Hours: Tuesdays- Fridays, 10:00 am- 2:00 pm. ADMISSION IS FREE.