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August 30, 2012

There Can Be No Better World Exhibit

The future we conjure up is often littered with imaginings cobbled from the past, and present fears that unsettle us of certain expectations. We are all unable to imagine a future without having that grey slit of the past’s shadow cutting through its glistening landscape.

A future world is most often assembled with stuff of the past. A mélange of language with its poetry and its scientific staccatos, its well of visual images and sound, its detritus of objects and materials. These “bones” structure our vision, or even, a fiction of the future. The future is always a creative enterprise, for we can only but imagine what it will bring and what it will look like.

The exhibition ‘There Can Be No Better World,” is a response to the worlds of past, present and future, as it insists that each period be the space-time to satisfy us and our longings for contentment. It is a swirl: of long gone, now and tomorrow. Each work encapsulates and challenges us with their own proposition, a schema for their scenarios that run from bleak to unsure to hopeful.

Michael Lee’s “Dwellings,” promise us the nostalgia of space memorialized and its memory repealed. His 15 paintings depict the clean lines of the soul and skeleton of architectural visions that could be seen, as one writer comments about Virgilio Marchi’s works, to echo some of Lee’s chosen buildings which are regional manifestos similar to the articulation through which “drawings visually articulate the polemical Futurist manifestos that proclaim(ed) the scourging and re-foundation of society…” (Bingham, 2009).

On the other hand, Tiffany Chung’s installation draws its impulse in part from Kurt Vonnegut’s 11th novel Galapagos. With “twigs, bones, rocks and the Giant Tortoise” a house submerged with only the roof left visible. Abandoned, the roof is overrun by delicate glass turtles. Set against two projections the installation explores, as the artist writes “…issues in urban progress and the complex relationship between humans and nature.”

Felix Bacolor’s ‘Wait” places us in a space that is nowhere, but one which is defined and shaped simply by time. The installation is inspired by Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot,’ but Bacolor has transposed Beckett’s theater into a site made precisely so people can lose themselves in the act of waiting. Clocks count to the second and the waiting creates a sense of urgency, literally making us count to the second. For Bacolor, the future is always here, or something we’re always expecting but never arrives.
Museum of Contemporary Arts and Design
Pablo Ocampo St.

1st Level, DLS-CSB Bldg.
950 Pablo Ocampo St.
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Wednesday August 29, 2012 - Friday August 31, 2012

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