Leave Me a Place Underground • Lyra Garcellano and Erik Pauhrizi

Oct 10 to Nov 4, 2013 • Tall Gallery

Notes from the Underground

“He was free, free in every way, free to behave like a fool or a machine, free to accept, free to refuse, free to equivocate; to marry, to give up the game, to drag this death weight about with him for years to come. He could do what he liked, no one had the right to advise him, there would be for him no Good or Evil unless he thought them into being.” —Jean-Paul Sartre

It cannot be denied that there are invisible lines and patterns to our daily life and movement. The politics of space is an integral concept to both local artist Lyra Garcellano and Indonesian artist Erik Pauhrizi.

As a backdrop, let us observe the footprints that Lyra Garcellano and Erik Pauhrizi have shared: The two met in an artist residency space in New York as Asian Cultural Council grantees. Both coming from Southeast Asia, they have created a camaraderie as temporary transients occupying space, creating cathartic connections in the city and in their personal lives separately as émigrés stretching the limits of their artistic practice. Both have gone to several residencies since then, taking them as far as South Korea to Berlin exploring the different facets of space, architecture, and the limits of time within cultural and artistic commodities.

In the past decade, Lyra Garcellano has dealt with “borders, frames and boundaries”. Geographic locations and domestic spaces (past or present) become a timeless reference for discussion. When contextualized as a reflexive piece of work, the paintings, photos or installations serve as capsules of research. Works discussing the politics of (a certain) position, allows the maker and the viewer to step out of these spaces in observance of the sociology of occurrences of a particular life and position.

Erik Pauhrizi in recent years, spent some time in Germany exploring topics such as the friction of human life, the post colonial and faces of representation. His diverse oeuvre(s) encompass painting, embroidery, video, performance and sculpture. In 2011, he mounted a solo art exhibition in New York, titled “The Poison of Our Sins”, a project to dismantle the post-independence colonial idea and the traces of colonial encounter. The paths of exploration that involves his research are mostly trajectories, invisible lines or unexposed ideas in the social culture of a “daily life” as a citizen of Indonesia.

In the larger context, as artists from Southeast Asia (Philippines and Indonesia), it cannot be denied that there is this constant discussion of the periphery and the central in terms of the Western Postmodern and the Asian Contemporary. In a recent project at Asia Art Archive, Sue Acret attributes Marian Pastor Roces’ text “Ethos, Bathos, Pathos” (1993) as a critique in the post-colonial language “as a means of moving forward, but it also moves the artist away from a partially non rational, likely non-diachronic local knowledge site of their creativity.”

This exhibition is an encounter in consideration of the action to “dismantle” and critique as we forge our way forward. We step out of our comfort zones, supported by our peers, in view of a more honest encounter within what seizes or liberates. We lay out our plans and in between seething teethes, exposing the boundaries, and lines that serve as guides of our daily activities, in guise of our positing, and the shifts in making these peripheries as the center view.

—Lian Ladia, 2013