In line with his ongoing exhibition Stirring the Ashes at the Ateneo Art Gallery, Leslie de Chavez will be giving an artist’s talk on Thursday, 18 August 2016. Fr. Jason Dy of the Fine Arts Department will facilitate the discussion with de Chavez about his practice, influences, as well as the installations and paintings in the current exhibition.
In this exhibition de Chavez reflects on the power structures of the past and present, giving visual form to the complex political issues plaguing the country today. He does not preach or seek straightforward answers. His works operate on several levels, allowing viewers to approach them from different perspectives. He gives the audience something recognizable as an entry point, then leaves the interpretation up to each person. His choice of materials is deliberate and part of the meaning-making. The giant head of Rizal is blackened not by paint but by painstakingly rubbing it with graphite. A pair of legs lying on the floor, recognizable to any Catholic as the limbs of the Messiah on the cross, is made of soap. A stencil of the historic 1734 Murillo-Velarde Map lies on a patchwork of GI sheets. The titles such as Craft-Mine-Crap, Amba, and Subjugating the Nuclear are cryptic, giving clues into the thinking behind the works but not providing answers. Each piece requires attention, reflection, analysis.
Leslie de Chavez stirs the ashes of history in the hopes that by exposing the embers of memory, he is able to reignite something in us, perhaps compassion for our countrymen, concern over the nation’s state of affairs, something other than the indifference that has engulfed us..
ArtSpeak : Leslie de Chavez in conversation with Fr. Jason Dy, SJ is on Thursday, 18 August 2016 at 4 pm. The lecture is open to the public and free of charge but seats are limited. Please register by emailing email@example.com or calling 4266488. The exhibition will run until 17 September 2016.