—Virgil, The Aeneid
Felix Bacolor’s installation piece makes reference to the continuing bloodshed under the current dispensation. The volume of 30,000 liters, represented through 150 steel drums capable of containing 200 liters of liquid each, alludes to the amount of blood spilled in the course of the administration’s war against drugs since June 2016. The numbers of the dead, whether complicit or innocent in this brutal war, have risen to 7,025 people as of January 22, 2017. Bacolor notes that one person needs around five liters of blood to live; 30,000 liters represents the sum total of lives cut short, robbed of the chance to change.
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, a proverb goes. But this paving of ways can quickly morph into an endeavor that devours all in its path. In making visible the volume of bloodshed, Bacolor makes a stand against both the “systematic, industrial-scale purging” and the blatant disregard for human life that has risen to atrocious levels to date. Stacked like goods in an industrial storage facility, the steel drums stand as a continuing monument to loss, complicity and impunity. To pass by its presence as an art object casts a question to the viewer: does one just stand by as this monstrosity grows?