El rosario de la Abuela (Grandmother’s rosary)

El rosario de la abuela (Grandmother’s rosary). April 2004. Luna Art Collective Gallery. Cebu City. The Philippines.
Environmental work. Creation of an environment in the gallery space with results extracted from performances and actions made in different churches in Cebu city.

This project was conceived and developed in collaboration with Colombian artist Olga Parra Benavides, who lived in the Philippines for a number of years. Their similar approach to art and their conceptual thinking made them decide to work together using the theme of religion and believe within public space.

They observed Filipino elements of popular devotion in order to recall collective memory as creator of culture and identity. They went around the city collecting and observing and then decided to brake up the linearity of tradition by interrupting people’s automatism, so they could look with new eyes. After dealing with all the catholic structure they were allowed to create ephemeral actions in different churches in Cebu city. The results of these actions were later re-worked into the space of the gallery as a cultural storage room open to the public.

Balloons from Guadalupe church, candles from Santo Nino and cards with written prayers of women from a mass production factory were some of the objects that could be found in the gallery space. Each of these items was a response to the cultural performances and daily actions that occur in the city. By displacing them to the gallery space the visitor was able to associate their material properties with their social meaning and reencounter private stories from their common history and common memory. They would re-discover a country -their own- fanatical about religion, with a great dialectic between men and woman but with beauty of character.

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