Same Shapes, Different Each Time • Miguel Puyat

May 13 to Jun 7, 2021 • Video Room

Ornette Coleman’s celebrated 1959 album, “The Shape of Jazz to Come”, prompts Miguel Puyat’s first solo exhibition. Here, the artist likens the process of his art-making to Coleman’s improvisation and unique approach to arrangement where every composition contains brief thematic statements and then, several minutes of extemporization. Similar to jazz, Puyat’s works are configurations that require interaction and collaboration from both viewer and receiver. The production of the work extends beyond the artist’s studio and allows public participation to manipulate and transform the object, far exceeding the artist’s initial plan.

Drawn by a statement where Coleman had once said, “jazz is the only music in which the same note can be played night after night, but differently each time”, Puyat replicated the same sensibilities in producing objects that use basic patterns, forms, and shapes but with the ability to construct different images as one desires. Similarly, free jazz is recognized in its propensity to be controlled through the performer’s actual feelings, emotions, and interactions with his environment releasing the art from any rules and canonical adherence. Hence, Puyat’s realization of the work becomes an exercise in playing and problem-solving; what and how should one make art? What is there to come? Perhaps, the response lies in the way Puyat generously designs his works: removing the boundary between artist and audience or accepting their interchangeable roles. In essence, jazz is absorbed in the same invisible contract of radically presenting something that wrenches the heart and punches the gut.

Miguel Puyat (b. 1993, Philippines) is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice embodies the principal focus of Process Art, where the actions and steps in art production are far more important than the form of the object. Puyat explores a range of narratives that hint at existentialism, nostalgia, and subcultures as he examines the alteration and manipulation of found materials such as existing objects, sound, video, and images.

Gwen Bautista