Breaking the Fourth Wall • Kelly Ramos

Oct 10 to Nov 4, 2013 • Upstairs Gallery and Video Room
What’s left of a wall
Once it’s broken down
The things you use
To hold sacred, fenced
What’s left of a tube of paint
Once it’s spilled its guts
The colors you use
For images of meaning, hued
What’s left of kitty
Once its chosen you
To win over, spent
What’s left of a wall
Once it’s broken down
The things you use
To keep inside, freed

What’s Left
by Jade Snow
October 10, 2013

In Breaking the Fourth Wall, Ramos unveils a series of autobiographical works reflecting on the story and process of how paintings are created, constructing an entire narrative using painting and video installation.

The title of the show is a figure of speech used in the fields of theater, television and fiction, denoting the technique and process where actors on stage may directly communicate with the audience and thus “break” the imaginary wall separating art from the viewer. As a visual artist, Ramos responds to this challenge of calling attention to the fictive nature of art by exposing and narrating the very process of making a painting.

In the Upstairs Gallery, Ramos creates a painting series taking off from a previous work exhibited at a group show last year, depicting an abandoned car overgrown with vines. In six works, she breaks this image down into sequential narratives, showing the different processes of producing the painting itself: from revealing the presence of raw materials from stretched canvas to tubes of paint and documenting the process of completing the work. The final image is presented anew as “the thing left behind”, after the entire process of making art is consummated.

On the other hand, the Video Room will feature an installation using a projected live video feed of the gallery space: moving images of the viewer looking back at the works on display. This is a space that compels the viewer to confront questions of surveillance and looking: the act of gazing at the art object becomes the subject of artistic form itself.

An artist, writer and curator, Kelly Ramos studied Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines. She won the Juror’s Choice award for Painting (Non-Representational Category) in the 1991 Art Association of the Philippines Annual Art Competition and was a regional finalist for the 2007 Philippine Art Awards. Ramos is a founding member of the Oro Art Guild based in Cagayan de Oro and is the Vice-President of the Baguio Arts Guild.