“Bruce Con­ner: OUT OF BODY” at Bel­las Artes Out­post; Art­in­for­mal opens its new branch at The Al­ley at Kar­rivin Plaza; the highly an­tic­i­pated Art in the Park; Manila FAME; and more.

Town & Country (Philippines) - - T & C -

Notoriously wary of at­ten­tion from me­dia and art world per­son­al­i­ties, the Amer­i­can mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary artist Bruce Con­ner (1933-2008) must be turn­ing in his grave in the wake of a mon­u­men­tal ex­hi­bi­tion, “Bruce Con­ner: It’s All True”—the first com­plete ret­ro­spec­tive that sur­veys Con­ner’s prodi­gious out­put.

Af­ter its pre­miere at the New York Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art in 2016, the ex­hi­bi­tion trav­eled to San Fran­cisco’s Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art and Museo Na­cional Cen­tro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, re­veal­ing to this gen­er­a­tion why Con­ner is widely re­garded as one of the post-war era’s most in­flu­en­tial artists.

Two hun­dred pieces are on show in­clud­ing paint­ings, draw­ings, col­lages, pho­tograms, and pho­tos along­side his films.

Our part of the world gets a glimpse of Con­ner’s ge­nius with Bel­las Artes Projects’ stag­ing of the artist’s first ma­jor ex­hi­bi­tion in South­east Asia. The show, “Con­ner: Out of Body,” had a two-part open­ing: At Bel­las Artes Out­post in Makati in Fe­bru­ary and at Bel­las Artes Projects’ cam­pus in Ba­gac, Bataan, in March.

At Bel­las Artes Out­post in Makati, a sam­pling of the artist’s range in­cludes two films: BREAK­AWAY, the artist’s mas­ter­piece from 1966 that features singer Toni Basil, con­sid­ered by some as a pro­gen­i­tor of pop mu­sic videos, and EASTER

MORN­ING, Con­ner’s last video work be­fore his death. Vis­i­tors to the show will also get to see the artist’s

MAN­DALA lith­o­graphs, a few of his AN­GEL pho­tograms and INKBLOT draw­ings along with felt-tip pen draw­ings, as well as some of the FALLEN LEAVES scroll col­lages.

View­ers can ex­pe­ri­ence the full force of the artist’s 36-minute film,

CROSS­ROADS, by trekking to Las Casas Filip­inas de Acuzar in Bataan. In­side the grand vol­umes of an un­fin­ished mar­ble church, Con­ner’s film—cre­ated from archival footage of the nu­clear tests con­ducted at the Bikini Atoll in 1946—is pro­jected against a wall.

Ac­cord­ing to Bel­las Artes Projects’ artis­tic di­rec­tor, Diana Camp­bell Betancourt, “The whole idea for this show be­gan with Bataan—given the iconic na­ture of CROSS­ROADS and the talk about re­viv­ing the nu­clear power plant in the prov­ince, as well as re­cent nu­clear threats from North Korea which made this work es­pe­cially timely to show in Bataan, given its World War II his­tory.”

“CROSS­ROADS needs to be shown large-scale,” Betancourt (who also cu­rated the show) fur­ther ex­plains. “The church has a very high ceil­ing. Also, you can’t tell if the build­ing is com­ing down or be­ing built up; that am­bi­gu­ity of space and time adds to the im­pact of Con­ner’s film.”

Bel­las Artes Projects founder Jam Acuzar was im­me­di­ately drawn to Con­ner’s film. “I fan­ta­sized about show­ing this work in­side the church since I first saw it in 2015,” Acuzar says.

“CROSS­ROADS res­onated so strongly to me as it re­minded me of the Bataan Nu­clear Power Plant and the in­cred­i­ble cloud for­ma­tions in Ba­gac. Although he has al­ready passed away, his work is so time­less and has many strong con­nec­tions with cur­rent is­sues in pol­i­tics, me­dia, and so­ci­ety.” On­go­ing un­til June 3 at Bel­las Artes Out­post in Makati and Las Casas Filip­inas de Acuzar in Ba­gac, Bataan. bel­lasarte­spro­jects.org. DEVI DE VEyrA

Edited by Pierre A. Calasanz

AcroSS thE unI­VErSE clock­wise from left: Bruce con­ner, trIXIE AnX­IouSLy AwAItS crIME, Jan­uary 20, 1978; EAStEr Morn­InG, Suzanne Mowat; a frame from croSS­roADS; EAStEr Morn­InG, Leaves; a frame from BrEAK­AwAy, fea­tur­ing toni Basil.

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