Power Source Is An Exhibition That Reveals The Status Of The Artist As A Receiver. In An Unexpected Alliance Of Gift And Capitalism, Or Even Grace And Fascism, Mideo M Cruz’s New Collection Of Works Shows More Than A Hundred Small Sculptures And A Series Of Paintings That Depict The Arresting Beauty Of Consumption On One Hand, And On Another, The Macabre Portraits Of Authoritative Military Personalities.
In National Art Histories, Artists Are Often Described To Be Active Agents Of Transformation:
Ideas To Disciplines, Desires To Movements, Theory To Practice, Fragments To Pictures, Matter To Ideology. Like Mideo, They Accept The Task With Humility, Which Sends Each Artist To An Adventure Of Self-Reflection, -Improvement, And -Criticism That All Contribute To The Shared Goal Of Collective Progress. One Could Assign This Fate As The Artist’s Role In Cultural Revolution. It Is The Most Intoxicating Spell In An Artistic Milieu. Yet, Mideo Knows That The Revolution Can Be Pragmatic, And That He Who Lives In The Exigencies Of A Creative Industry Must Relocate The Scale Of A Revolution In Terms That He Can Still Improvise His Actions. A Gesture That Recalibrates His Output: Mideo Gathers Objects And Dismantles Them After They Have Been Rejected In Many, Diverse Supply Chains. Tiny Articles Of Joy Molded By Machine, Acquired By Households, Recycled In Other Places Of Production, Mideo Finds Himself In The Margins Of Craft Where His Role Is To Create New Figures.
In Emilio Jacinto’s Ang Ningning At Ang Liwanag, The Young Revolutionary Offers A Reading Of Ningning (Glitter) And Liwanag (Light). He Demonstrates The Deceptive Nature OfThings That Glitter, Like A Piece Of Broken Glass When Hit By The Rays Of The Sun. Societal Ills According To Jacinto Form In The Rejection Of Light. Liwanag Is A Self-Disclosing Romance With The Eye That Allows Things To Be Seen In Their Unassuming, Naked Beings When Jacinto Associates Truth In The Reception Of Light, Mideo Contemporaneously Dis/Assembles Different Sources Of Glitter In Order To Formulate A New Iconography Of Liwanag
The passing of truth from ningning to liwanag in the sculptural is crafty realism. Applied in these toy-like objects, memorabilia-looking items, Mideo’s reconstructions feature decapitation and adhesion as his primary techniques. Neither drafts or initial sketches are available. He cleans and dries them, then he meticulously joins them together, scrutinizing every drip of glue that flows on the surface. Mideo maintains the value of ningning; he doesn’t wipe it off of the object. The artist aims to organize it as if it is feasible. While the impulse of social realism may be pedagogical, where artworks can serve as tools in learning, the collective of plastic figurines made by Mideo carries the sheen of ningning and the radiating force of liwanag. The politics of truth can be glistening.
Mideo’s realism acknowledges that there are other illuminating forces in making art. In his paintings, he posterizes images of male personalities mostly in military uniforms. They are portayed to be deficient, hollow-eyed with bodily fluids exiting their crudely profiled faces. It is a picture that no one wants to install in a funeral. Its ugliness can nc longer represent life because these portraits lack vision. Mideo eviscerated the organ that perceives liwanag. The blinding of their eyes is worse than any form of violence.Mideo repainted the face of authoritarianism. But he made the colors pop. The artist’s augmentation of representation is executed in less favorable conditions, in which light may be dimmed or temporarily extinguished, so he highlighted the background, a minor source of reflection in darkness. For Mideo, the duty of the artist lies in accepting the absence of liwanag and in igniting the light of the eye. Power Source is an emblem of innocuous smallness among grand professions of out of flatness, monstrosity, or toxicity to be a freedom to shine. change. The truth is the appearance of revolution in not as brilliant as the rising sun. It grows under the mantle of grief, pain, and violence. Its humanity however can be shared in the concrete afterglow that Mideo gives to his raw materials. Both aesthetic forms that Mideo celebrates situate the most luminous possibility for a compassionate self-defense of acceptance: when revolution becomes a capitulation of ningning to liwanag. Unlike the dichotomy of surrender and resistance, power can then be imagined
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