In The Fullness of Time • Julie Lluch

Nov 7 to Dec 3, 2016 • Tall Gallery

The personification of passages

Following her retrospective at the Cultural Center of the Philippines back in 2008, Julie Lluch returns to the exhibition circuit with a one-woman show of new sculptures in cold-cast marble and calsomine: presented through a series of female figures and tableaus both allegorical and personal.

Titled In The Fullness of Time, Lluch’s exhibition delves into the paradox of passage. It threads through the artist’s reflections on the magical intersections between temporal, measured time—distilled in the primordial and mythological figure of the Greek Titan Kronos—and the idea of Kairos, or God’s time: the opportune moment and passing instance, where everything that has been falls into place.

Lluch explores this trajectory of thought without resorting to literal references to Time in her works—no apparent numbers or clock faces, for instance. Instead, the works present seemingly discrete scenes and figures, all unified by their personification of the feminine and feminist presence across mythic and real histories. Kairos, a suite of sculptures cast and modeled after the artist’s own daughters, shares space with works referencing the Biblical figure of Eve and the Filipina revolutionary. In juxtaposing intimate portraits and archetypes, Lluch frames the encounter with kairos as one experienced not only through singularly defining events—the turning points of myth and revolution, for instance—but also in the quiet, mundane moments where one may find peace.

Fire and flames are also recurring motifs throughout the sculptures: a reference to the fervor of worship and the universal human act of sacrifice. In Lluch’s works, fire appears as a benevolent, intermittent surprise: it is no longer there to engulf and destroy, but to remind and illuminate one of how the opportunity of kairos presents itself. The possibility of magic, furthermore, is always real in these points where both myth and the present, dream and reality intersect. Lluch captures this state of wakeful dreaming in Night Spa and Lorca, where the incarnation of the creative spirit is manifest in the figure alluding to poet Federico Garcia Lorca’s duende.

The works reveal Lluch’s fascination with finding small theophanies, the miraculous manifestations and interventions of the divine, in the most unlikely of instances throughout time. Yet they also speak of the sense of unease and uncertainty with the present. This is perhaps best underscored in her figure of a woman under assault, her belongings scattered on the ground, serving as both allegory and reflection of the times. What happens after, however remains to be seen. Perhaps, it is the artist’s way of challenging the viewer to seek the opportune moments when actions and epiphanies are most needed.

—Lisa Ito