On the shelf

Last saturday, Kayleen and I went to Silverlens Gallery to attend the opening of Wawi Navarroza’s exhibit, She is one of the country’s most brilliant & recognized photographers. While we didn’t quite make it to the panel owing to my confusion on the gallery’s location, We did manage to come in before they closed up. This was the first exhibit I would go to with a new pair of lenses, that is, somewhat trained but not too burdened with technical and historical awareness of photography. And the funny thing was that this exhibit was the the first time the photographer declared her temporary abandonment of the baggage of photography.I knew I would have to come in disarmed as I would see her work not in the staged dreamy style I’ve usually associated her photos with but with a more carefree approach. I sifted through the diptychs and  images  back and forth but what ended up as the conversation piece of the night was the installation of a shelf filled with books all sliced up inside. The minced paper sitting neatly on the top most shelf. And hadn’t Kayleen  called me to it. I would not have given it a closer look.  A note posted on the wall either said it all or obscured your vision of the exhibit as now there was a manifestation of the limitations of photography which was truth but often overlooked. That Photos while able to document is incomplete because it is limited by the frame, and more often the context of a situation wherein the stories are left in the moment and its remnants a footnote to that moment suddenly become for the most part, the only thing people see. More controversial is the paradox which is presented as while the photos were works of art that were for sale the installation turns it on its head and expands the exhibit as a which in itself something that cannot be easily afforded. Kayleen points out that this was what was being asked of us, which is why is that particular installation photography. And suddenly that becomes key to understanding the exhibit. The exhibit runs till the 7th of November at

Silverlens Gallery 2320 Pasong Tamo Extension Makati City, Philippines

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~ by halfawakehaiku on October 20, 2009.

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