While straying from its usual exhibition style, the Lopez Museum and Library’s current exhibition, “Pauses of Possibility” somehow remains faithful to its grounding in social engagement and in articulating the national narrative. “Pauses” pivots on self-reflection and the silences found in private spaces; here, the personal is put in the foreground and is taken as a springboard for the political.
The quiet moments free from outside interference are all too often associated with the mundane and the sentimental. However, they provide the very grounding for our public selves. The polarization created by the current political climate requires, perhaps more than ever, this stepping back. At the juncture where reason seems to fail, where there is ease in bowing to the noise of unfounded opinions, we should heed the call for a particularly reflective kind of quiet.
From the museum’s collection, early works of female artist Nena Saguil, a pioneering modernist, is taken as starting point. Her life and persona divert from the norm of the past where women were expected to remain in the domestic sphere. Saguil’s insistence to pursue her art despite the external and societal pressures is emblematic of this overlooked parallelism of the personal and the political. Her preference to look inward, in turn, became a mirroring of the issues and hurdles of the public space. The practices of celebrated contemporary artists Marina Cruz, Elaine Navas, Pam Yan Santos and Kara de Dios also traverse the modalities of memory, introspection, solitude, and womanhood. What were initially seen as merely diaristic are, in reality, the contextual unfolding of the artists’ situations in life, with all its nuances and obstacles. Ongoing until June 17, Benpres Building, Exchange Road corner Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig; 631. 2417; email@example.com. IRIS FERRER
LADIES FIRSt Fontainbleau (Pink Abstraction), by Nena Saguil (1954), and Big Heart, by Marina Cruz (2015).