Exhibition “DEFILE”

September 7 – 30, 2013
Opening September 7, 4 pm

Galeria Duemila
201 Loring St., Pasay City. Metro Manila


Arvin Flores
Carlo Ricafort
David Griggs
Gerardo Tan
Juan Carlos Quintana
Jayson Oliveria
Lizza May David
Manuel Ocampo
Maria Cruz
Timo Roter
Valeria Cavestany

In 2007 a woman has kissed a painting called Phaedrus by Cy Twombly, she claimed : “she was so attracted to the painting that she couldn’t resist an impromptu kiss”. There were no photos of said painting that was in the collection of Lambert Museum in Avignon. It was only stated as a blank canvas valued at 2 million US dollars indelibly and indefinitely stained by her lipstick. Common interpretations of her transgression was that it was lust and her desire” for the infinite possibilities of expression of the of the plain white canvas” or rather that maybe she was just reminded of white bed sheets and the viscous ooze of white heat splattered in all possible configurations. But just as well she was filed a criminal record for such act of defilement.

A blog reacting to said incident has revealed more women being seduced by Twombly’s scribbly paintings, as like Alice jumping into a rabbit hole and “completely abandoning rational thinking” – much like jumping into bed with a stranger you meet in a bar in the strange part of town – or some kind of consensual rape, but that would be oxymoronic. But painting themselves are carnal , especially the bold and heavily stroked ones, as they strut off the swagger of dandyish bravura. Seducing and vain but what do they want and what do they ask of us as viewers, other than being looked at and admired and be baffled by or lingeringly caressed? But is painting pure to be considered defiled ?

Modernist painting ascribes to a purity that is wholly exclusive only to the matterness or being of painting existing for itself, as defined by the limits of its form and process of its being made and the arising criticism based solely on such terms within and for itself. But these things don’t matter as much anymore and as can now be considered superfluous (as other as historical burden of meaning and market value has also come into play in the evaluation of such). But does painting need to be defined time and again for what is and what is it not ? Or rather by defiling it that it shall be deftly defined? To subjugate form to bjecthood to reify its objecthood and meaning in the booming business of vapid picture-prettiness.

Purity is an illusion as much as the veil worn by “virgin brides” at their weddings. Defile, in this sense, and in this exhibit’s premise, is a painting position taken on as deliberate political aesthetic stance, where attitude has taken form in an iconoclastic conception of painting’s base material presence, to deliberately stain and plunder and ransack painting’s traditional notions of hierarchies and meaning, and to seek pleasure, above all, in these primordial release, as to quote Bataille : ” pleasure starts once the worm has got into the fruit, to become delighted, one has to be tainted by poison”, with a kiss that more than stains you.

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