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Proclamation of 8

  • District Gallery 112 West Avenue Quezon City, NCR Philippines (map)

Proclamation of 8



          WHEREAS, Proclamation of 8, issued on September 23, 2017 with eight (8) artists declaring our current and varied states of unrest, and signifying our clearest to the obscurest positions in this time that change has come, on account of the extant situation of the land;  
          WHEREAS, part of the reasons for the issuance of Proclamation of 8 exhibition are the series of existing ambiguities in the territory of the Republic of the Philippines or any part thereof, such as, the medial of contempt and approval in our people, the medial of action and apathy in our generation, the medial of accord and opposition in our freedom, the medial of disregard and honor in the human condition, and the constituting wholly or partially, the medial of assurance and intimidation in our truths and the public’s prerogatives. Thus, the need for a proclamation;  
          WHEREAS, in the Sections 1-8 of the gallery, the Artworks, including amendments, in any type of media, in exhibition for a period not exceeding 30 days, attempts a demonstration of the process, experience, and outcome of our present reality’s ambiguous stage, consummated by enforcing and/or resisting our individual state as an artist within a scope of contradicting roles and perspectives e.g., a dictator and a devotee, an ally and an enemy, a rebel and a believer, a perpetrator and a savior;            

           NOW, THEREFORE, WE, THE RALLIED ARTISTS, Citizens of Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in us by our freedom, truth, and dignity, do hereby provide our statement and proclaim: 
 “Sa kaso na ikaw ay nasa gitna –  kung ikaw ang may sala at ikaw rin ang biktima, ano ang iyong idedeklara?”  

By the Artists: Venal, Lopez, Pacena, Pueblo, Aguilar, Rosca, Eya, Valdez  

1. The center is an illusion.
2. The truth lies in the peripherals,
3. Neutrality is the wolf in a sheep’s clothing.
4. The heart is a biased creature.
5. I am not a journalist.
6. Dignity is not academic.
7. Some truths are more truthful than the others.
8. Do / Do Not Cross the line.
9. Butcher, Livestock, Blade
10. Perpetrator, Victim, Observer
11. Anger is a compass and north is 3 blocks from here, on the ground, heaving.
12. Resist.              

Issues surrounding me as a citizen and as a Filipina do not exist in a vacuum. Issues that neglect human rights, issues that do not serve the poor— These do not exist in a vacuum either. Creators have a substantial platform for initiating discourse. The personal is political.  

A declaration of Empathy:  In a society where a culture of violence is being accepted and nurtured wherein the weak and the minority is threatened each day in a system created only for those who can afford, and those who challenge, suffer and are a victim of this system are hunted, tortured, erased, and forgotten. The lives taken are getting younger and majority of us still live blindly in the ideals set
by the concept of survival, by the ideals set by the media, the hopes given by the advertising agencies and the distraction set by the entertainment industry. That Kian and the other kids are now just media spectacles, casualties we tend to ignore because we are all still safe.  
Today tragedies, fake news, EJK, Vice Ganda, Jose Rizal, President Duterte, Stephen Curry, Lumads, Bigas hindi Bala, Human Rights, Basketball, Mocha Uson and Maria Osawa are just words to choose from, ideas waiting for the attention of the majority who chose not to listen and ignore the very basics of empathy.  
In this declaration, I Jaime Pacena II would like to reiterate the very basic idea of critical thinking, where it includes our capacity to put ourselves in the position of others and to understand each other's place in the society. By doing so we understand more the complexities of survival and that it goes beyond self-interests and individualism. That there are people who are less fortunate who needs help and that help is not supposed to be about charity.   
Today I declare myself as a soldier of peace and stand against all those who threaten the basic human rights of my country. That every person in the society we live in deserves a life with dignity and respect.  
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke  

Everything that we know, understand, and can imagine comes from our relationship with the world. The wholeness of our consciousness, even the subconscious, is constructed by interrelation. Through interacting and participating in the world, experience brings deeper insights that foster unlimited creativity. It is not the intellectual justification that I focus on in my practice, but rather my real concerns – not art style or trend, but the interest in existentialism. It is about the intersubjective real: the two sides of the coin, the gray area, the un-quantifiable, or indefinable relation between people in terms of love, hate, fear, and courage.  
This interest in existentialism has heightened my curiosity about the everyday. Being curious about the everyday is a way of seeing how mundane objects are intertwined with the social fabric or system of our society. With this thought in mind, I then think of my art practice like a lay
ethnographer of the contemporary world who questions and examines how our social values are shaped by the prevailing disciplinary forces, such as family, education, society, and government.  
Penetrating the obscurities of quotidian life and its articulation requires a clear view of the present condition. Hence, through fieldwork, the lay ethnographer becomes an observer and applies the method of cultural immersion to have a visceral experience of the world. With this visceral experience of the world, the artist can have a magnified view of the world. From brushing our teeth to making love, it is no secret that we can experience or understand it a bit more through closer inspection. Hence, art for me becomes like a magnifying lens that helps us to be more aware of what is right under our nose, which consequently leads us to reflect our actions.  
Working with contemporary pop culture to connect to the public, my recent GMRC and Oysst!!! projects intends to wrestle with people’s perception on current events or moral conditions today in relation to their definition of the word “change”. The approach to both guerilla public art projects is distinct from one another in terms of visual forms and tone of language, yet both invites reflections to rethink about one’s actions and hopefully to create dialogues.  
An artist that highlights specific sentiments for participant/audience to understand their own political consciousness, that move out of the center simply to observe or facilitate, and sincerely invites the public into dialogue is democratic. Dialogue is deeply beautiful, as it is shareable, direct, and honestly truthful. It makes us feel or experience the real. Hence in my art, connecting with another human being is more important than the objects and/or situations I construct as it may open up our understanding of the world a little bit more.  

“Ang puso't damdamin nagwewelga, sumisigaw ng tama na Pero dahil sila'y madaling kausap, konting lambing lang tahan na. Ilang pandikit na ang aking ginamit para lang manatili ang ngiti Ipinipilit isabit sa mukhang may naglalahong mga kiliti Ibubuhos ang luha sa umaga, sa gabi yung reserba naman Mag-iipon habang tulog, pagkagising, uulit ang nakaraan. 
Ang aking mga paa ay pilit na tumatakbo Habang ang aking mga kamay ay pilit na kumakapit Ang butas ay palapit na ng palapit Bitbit ang kasalanan, sa konsensya nakasabit.”  
- Excerpt from Miko Aguilar’s poem, Araw-araw Nilalabanan Ang Tukso Na Makipagtalik Sa Pagpanaw  

In the last year, my Soul Voice returned to poetry, which I had not written at all since my teen years.  The only explanation I have for it is that, beset by too much outrage and sadness, I needed the discipline and armor of poetry to be able to contain the intensity of emotions churned out by these times, and not run amok, as our culture requires. But this too is part of my life as a writer – a pattern that follows the Navajo myth of Changing Woman, who morphs in age, form and shape, but whose being never dies.    

          SECTION 7. EYA  
Are you sacred?
Are you scared?  
You are scared.
You are sacred.   
Are they sacred?
Are they scared?
They are scared.
They are sacred.  
You cared.
They cared.   
Am I sacred?
Am I scared?
I cared. I am not sacred.  
We are not scared.
We are all red. 

Paano Maging Duwag sa Panahon ng Dilim?    

          DONE in District Gallery, Quezon City, Republic of the Philippines, this 23rd of September until the 22nd of October in the year Two Thousand and Seventeen.    
By the Curator:    
Proclamation of 8 Exhibit      

Earlier Event: August 25