Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Although the unusually wet weather deprived us of a sunset view, "London Talking", the art talk-slash-critique of the current exhibition of Jackson Webb went on without a hitch last night, December 19, 2005 at 630PM. And for a crappy Monday afternoon in the height of Christmas season traffic, I was rather pleased at the enthusiastic and rather eclectic turnout. The dancer Dona Tumacder-Esteban and her husband David Esteban (of the acid jazz group Sound) arrived fresh from their honeymoon. Ivan, the Chinatown streetwalker made an appearance, as did blogger Watergirl, and the writer Anson Yu of Citiguide and Appetite Magazine, among others. The wine and Finlandia cranberry vodka* flowed throughout the evening and so did the words. The talk, of which the topics ranged from artistic processes, to the importance of collaboration, to the problems of egoism and high production costs in the art world, went on for about an hour and a half without intermission. Jackson Webb return to the UK tomorrow. I hope (nay, I'm sure) we'll see them back in this town again. Stay tuned for the next art talk.
*Thanks Premium Wines, Fran Ribano, and Jobert for the booze. It helped loosen the tongues, no doubt.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Four excellent shows check out this weekend. First, at the Marikina Shoe Expo (aka Cubao X) on Gen. Romulo Avenue (behind Ali Mall). we have a photo exhibit (opening Thursday, Dec. 15) at Blacksoup called "Kambyo". Filmmakers and picture people like Quark Henares, Katrina Holigores, Raymond Red, Mark Meilly, Yam Laranas, and Eric Matti show off images they captured on their celphones. and...

A presentation of final projects by the Interactive Storytelling, Art Appreciation and World Literature students of uber artist and now art professor at DeLaSalle, Yason Banal, Show runs from 7pm till 11 pm, with a dj set from Yason and live performances from sound artist Pow Martinez and the art band The Brockas (composed of filmmakers Roxlee, Khavn dela Cruz and Lav Diaz). There will also be additional performances by Uranus' Sonja Laban, Israel's P&G Kollectiv, Russia's AES+F Group and UK's Frank Sidebottom and Sick Happy Idle. Admission is free.

Located at the far end of Luneta Park next to the Orchidarium and fronting the Department of Tourism and that hideous sculpture of Lapu-lapu, the MUSEUM OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE is currently exhibiting "Pang-Ulo", the largest collection of traditional Filipino head dresses that I have ever seen in one room. With pieces ranging from traditional horned-bill helmets to bridal veils from the 1960's, the show is excellently displayed, curated, and comes with an accompanying conceptual installation on Philippine presidents (Pangulo also means president in Filipino). Definitely worth a gander if only to see just how well managed and progressive the Philippine Museum system has become. Free admission on Sundays. Make sure to pass by Lush Life at the Orchidarium next door afterwards for a fruit shake when you're done as well. and finally..

PAPEL NG PAPEL A group exhibit currently on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila at the Central Bank Complex on Roxas Boulevard. Rush there now and catch it quick because it's closing on Dec. 31 already. Be amazed at some of the things that artists Impy Pilapil, Tony Gonzales, and the Philippine Queen of Paper, Tes Pasola, can do with something as simple as dried pulp. Monumental, minute, and just darn lovely. Call 523-7855 for details.

Monday, December 12, 2005


And so after spending a couple of days of cleaning up the construction dust, priming the walls, and hanging up the delicate artwork of collaborative artists Mark Jackson and Charlotte Webb...
Jackson Webb with TLV technical director, Denis Lagdameo
hanging artwork in the Small Gallery

At precisely 8:00PM on December 10, 2005, the lanterns were lit...
(Close up: Lamp of Reflection, 2005)

The installations were installed and the Living Room was ready to roll.
Top: Lamp of Criticism, 2005, installation view.
Bottom: Lamp of Reflection, installation view.

The evening started off rather well as guests sipped on the fabulously free-flowing Finlandia Cranberry Vodka (thanks Jobert and Fran Ribano) and nibbled on Cheese and Chocolate Fondue from the Old Swiss Inn. Some folks preened and posed for the camera...

While others let me catch them right where they were.

The topics of the evening's conversations ranged from geo-politics and the arts, to the intricacies of sado-masochism, lesbianism, and the current prices of electricity, gasoline, and fashion.

And as midnight rolled around, DJ Caliph8 arrived and spun. The art school kids of doom crowd showed up in full force and partied till the cows came home. All in all - for a rainy night in early December, I couldn't have asked for a better opening.
And if you are wondering why there aren't any names underneath the photos,
remember that this ain't the Philippine Tatler, Baby.
If you know the people in the shots then you do. And If you don't, well, it doesn't matter.

Hope to see you all at Jackson Webb's Artist's talk on December 19, 2005.
Monday, 6:00PM

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Jackson Webb
Soft Lighting
10 December 2005 – 10 January 2006

Artists Talk
19 December 2005, Monday
5:00PM (Sunset and Cocktails)
6:00PM Talk co-hosted by Yason Banal and myself

The Living Room Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by British artist collaboration, Jackson Webb. In their work Jackson Webb are interested in questioning ideas of functionality and object status, often producing sculptures and drawings with a design aesthetic. The way in which these works enter the increasingly grey area between art and design is characteristic of Jackson Webb’s practice, which operates across a range of creative disciplines. Whilst the works may initially appear to be functional, their titles imply a more ambiguous status, and the viewer is often left with an unsettling set of relations.

For their inaugural show at the Living Room Gallery, they present two lamps and a pair of drawings presented on whiteboards. The lamps can be seen as a tongue-in-cheek comment on the concept of ‘illumination’, and the role that criticism might play in the production of meaning. They challenge the idea that art objects are things whose meaning can be revealed through criticism, or which are a physical representation of the ideas ‘behind’ them. When looking at the work Jackson Webb suggest that it is more helpful to ask, ‘what do these objects do?’ rather than ‘what do these objects represent?’

The accompanying drawings are presented on whiteboards, which are commonly associated with education or the clarification of ideas. They are rendered characteristically dysfunctional here, however, and shed little light on matters. Although Jackson Webb began using whiteboards in their collaborative practice as a way of communicating ideas to each other, they have developed into autonomous objects in their own right. The possibility that the images can be wiped away at any point by a viewer is typical of Jackson Webb’s use of non-permanent materials, and their interest in functional or ‘active’ objects.

Mark Jackson and Charlotte Webb live and work in London, and have been collaborating since 2002. Their collaboration aims to challenge the notion of singular artistic output, and to make dialogue an inherent part of the working process. They will be undertaking a collaborative Masters degree program at Chelsea College of Art, London in January 2005. Jackson Webb have exhibited throughout London. Recent exhibitions include The Tower Of Babel, Limehouse Art Foundation, London, 2005; 100 Mothers, Oxford House, London 2005; Nth Art 001, Ols&Co Gallery, London 2005; Studio Voltaire Annual Open, London 2004; Play Dead, Spitz Gallery, London 2004; AIAIA, Shanghai 2004; This Scepter’d Isle, Space Station 65, London 2003; Viva Pablo – Bart Wells Institute, London 2003.

Friday, December 02, 2005


The Warhol Museum
Time Capsule 21 Online Exhibition
This very very cool site features online images of the contents within some of the 600 cardboard boxes that Andy filled from the late 1960's till his death in 1987. A veritable time capsule which captures the 60's zeitgeist, it's an extensive oeuvre that matured into an artwork only recently and came about from having to move his studio from Union Square to his new space on Broadway. With such random objects as Dick Tracy comic books, newspaper clippings, an unopened Rolling Stones "sticky fingers" album, and moldy pizza (not in the site), it's a fascinating mix of artwork, photography, correspondence, and ephemera.
It's an interesting journey through a what I only describe as the droppings of a brilliant man. Living proof that an artist's hand can still keep on creating way beyond the grave.

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