Painting Baggage • Lyra Garcellano, W. Don Flores

Dec 7, 2016, to Jan 5, 2017 • Video Room

Garcellano and Flores’ exposition begins with a consideration of six seed works drawn from the history of Western academic painting as an idea exported into the country. Anchoring their own works to these canonical points, the artists dramatize their subjective positions within the landscape of the contemporary Philippine gallery system.

Addressing the seed paintings in their own works, Garcellano and Flores have co-formulated a set of directives to inform their own independent studio processes. What results from this are solitary conversations with the shared history of painting as an established genre of art-making and as a keystone of the educational foundations of each artist’s training and identity. By situating the works together in the shared space of the gallery, another layer of engagement emerges, relating a narrative that is equal parts about the expectations of painting as a commodity genre and about painting’s character as a still-potent surface by which creative action might be effected.

Within the space they are presented—and because of it—the paintings begin unmooring themselves from the network of historical and economic complicity that frames the exhibition. This threat of disconnection, this possible loss of context signals dead ends and hints of aspirations towards discontinuity.