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Anton del Castillo’s A Child’s Memory takes upon the dialectics of memory, gender, and transforming or transformative spaces. Jackstones, a skill-developing toy and a handful of which can fit in the palm of a child, are rendered into oversized, metallic sculptures— what seems to be a mundane toy is turned into a whimsical and dream-like object, calling to mind such stories as Alice in Wonderland.

Through its sheer size, it also transforms its space, an area behind the Ateneo de Manila University’s Social Sciences Building— a transitory and unnoticed space, bringing a sense of curiosity and awe. Del Castillo draws a connection from his previous work from Juvenile Traces, in which he explored how children, especially boys, are acculturated into violence through the acceptability of toy guns as gender appropriate toys for boys. Girls are not spared from this acculturation, as seen from dolls which ingrain in them aspirations that might not be realistic and could lead to unreasonable expectations with regards to their bodies. In this vein, by presenting jackstones, a toy often associated for girls but could be played by anyone— even adults, he not only invites us to revisit our childhood, an age of innocence and absence of prejudice, but also encourages us to re-assess pre-conceived notions of gender roles.

Anton del Castillo’s A Child’s Memory open on 12 November 2014.  Museum hours are Monday –Friday 8 am – 7:30 pm; Saturday 8 am – 6pm; closed Sundays and Holidays. For more information, please contact Ria Talamayan-Aguilar at 4266488 or via email at rtalamayan@ateneo.edu .


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