The Bold Sopranos 《膽壯的高音手》
The Bold Sopranos
15 May – 14 June 2014
“The Bold Sopranos” is a group exhibition co-organised by Gallery EXIT and Manila-based SILVERLENS. Works on various media by Pio ABAD, Poklong ANADING, Mariano CHING, Christina DY, Gary-Ross PASTRANA and Maria TANIGUCHI will expose the fictitious nature and the absurdity of closed systems of thoughts, presumptions and de facto realities.
The title of the show is a direct reference to Eugène Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano. Based on linguistic exercise, The Bald Soprano explores the possibilities of a narration devoid of purpose and content. Despite the seemingly senseless nature of the play, clichés, non-sequiturs, oxymoron and nonsense repetitions speak to the inherent fallacies of society, ideological conformity, hopelessness of communication and the general absurdity of it all. Language is an artificial construct. Manners are manufactured. Images are fragmented renderings of one’s own understanding of the world. What are the ends of these rules to us? What would happen if we are no longer rule-bound?
In the same vein, the exhibition, The Bold Sopranos, features works on canvases and scarfs, videos, collages, sculptures and installation in a surreal mockery of logic. By making use of visual symbols and idiosyncratic languages, the exhibition unfolds a sense of bewilderment by alienating audience against the world of things. Poklong Anading’s Locus is a great example of such formal speculations -- a two-channel video of street-performing monkeys walking on stilts at traffic lights. By means of cinematic techniques of suspense and slow-motion, Anading presents the ritual as that absurd, surreal alchemy between a demising reality and an over-positive projection towards progress. Maria Taniguchi’s canvases from US Letter Painting series also appear as an evident corollary to the absurdity of a predefined system of norms and the subsidiary cultural influence that the US have shed onto the Philippines.