on view at the CORREDOR
UP College of Fine Arts, Diliman
July 17 to 27, 2003
Darkness is a necessary contrivance for the maximum clarity of images and for the viewer's undistracted attention at a cinematic or theatrical exhibition. Consider, therefore, darkness as the condition and end of a gallery exhibition that concerns itself with visibility. - the artist
Initially, blackness. And then, depending upon the duration one's sight can accommodate darkness, visibility returns.
One realizes that the installation covers the entire gallery space. All 855 square feet of it is canopied with a blue fabric, with the full 12 feet height of the walls painted in the same hue. Suspended at about three quarters of the canopy's length and width are casts of two body parts. In the middle of the floor space is a 54 by 72 feet canvas-covered mattress.
CORPORA IMMOBILIA. Corredor gallery installation: fabric, suspended casts of body parts,
light fixtures, mattress, underwater live sound recording playback, lavander-scented incense.
12 X 18 X 45 feet
What can barely be considered as illumination comes from two sources: a faint bounced light concealed on the wall like a sconce and an equally faint halogen light projected from the back of the canopy.
The aural space is filled with a rumbling, gurgling sound - a digitally modified playback of an underwater live sound recording..
Under the extremely low lighting conditions of the rather ambiguous space, sight is put on a threshold, awakening myriad sensations: imaginary presences, distortion in the shapes of other viewers, heaving of the canopy, movement from the body casts, and feelings of fear, danger, drowsiness, reverie, drowning, even sensuality. Under low illumination, receptivity is amplified allowing other visibles to be felt and found.
Corpora Immobilia is a proposition and an imposition at the same time.
It is a proposition in that it does not impose itself on viewers including those who, having been too used to negotiate their worlds and contexts under familiar and metaphorically banal levels of visibility, decide at the outset or literally by the entrance of the exhibition area that there is nothing to see at all.
It is an imposition because even a momentary deprivation of visibility is compelling for the sighted.