Pagsibol Art Residency: The Cure, Curating in Time of Corona



On September 25, I had the unusual opportunity to converse with two friends and colleagues in the arts-- curator Ricky Francisco and artist Manny Garibay for an art talk organised by Linangan Art Residency.


The proceedings of the talk are on Facebook


Uploading my presentation here because the volume at the beginning was low and a bit lagging.


There were many points mentioned that are salient in unpacking curatorial experience and practice.


One of them is the artist's voice. In response to a question posted by Manny, I mentioned that we can do something more to make the artist's voice heard. It is not wrong that the market and others have voices too, but the artist's voice has to be present in the conversations of and about art. There are some platforms that afford the artists to say what they want to say, in a tone and volume that they prefer. But it can be developed further or more.


On the flipside artists are reminded that with having their voice heard, they should also take responsibility for it, of what it brings out and what it takes away.


Related to this, the curator is in a privileged space to work for and with artists. Like being an artist, being a curator is also a task, a responsibility, more than just a title. You have to commit to what you do and take responsibility for what it brings and what it takes away too.


Thirdly, is the idea of accessibility, with the many changes in our society that brings us new platforms, it is not only making contents that we should focus on. We should also reflect on how our content will connect. Providing a lot of information does not always translate to access if you are unable to connect.


Finally, I also mentioned taking it slow--to reflect, to think about what you said and what you do; what you will say more; where are you going next. Among the things that curators do, this is my new favourite. The older I get the more time I spend reflecting on my life, my work and how it is a very small part of a very big universe.


Speaking of reflecting, after the talk, I realised the one important thing that I was not able to mention, which I would now add, is the awareness and acceptance that you cannot do it alone. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Even if they turn out to be the wrong people, you can learn from these "mistakes" too. Do not try to solve everything by yourself. You do not become a hero by carrying the world on your shoulders... it'll just make you tired.


On another note, I am still on social hiatus. I said "yes "to this invitation because it was Manny and Ricky. We could have ended up talking about vegetables and I would still be ok with it. There are just some people you couldn't and wouldn't say "no" to. And I am glad I did, because it turned out to be a wonderful beginning to a very hectic Saturday.