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Ateneo Art Gallery, in cooperation with the Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS),  presents The Settlement, a traveling public art installation by Mark Justiniani from 6 November – 16 December 2017.

Mark Justiniani’s The Settlement is part of his current series of assemblages and installations which creates an illusion of infinite space through the careful manipulation of light and mirrors.  Justiniani intends to make the external features of artwork look like a shanty, a house of an informal settler — a common urban imagery. The Settlement is rich in Philippine historical and cultural references such as martial law, the Marcos burial, the Aguinaldo Hall in Malacañang, Andres Bonifacio, a mananaggal, and amob of rallyists.  The piece is mired with symbolisms whose relevance goes beyond specific moments in history, as tropes of death, detention, trauma, destitution and conflict continue to persist in our current state of affairs. It challenges our attitudes toward political myth-making, which people in power have continuously composed and which the public have repeatedly consumed. Ninety percent of the artwork is just illusion, Mark Justiniani invites the audience to “cross” the bridge from our present view on these social conflicts in order for us to progress.

The Settlement is a public art installation first exhibited at the Ayala Museum as part of Art Fair Philippines 2017.  It was then brought to the Sunken Garden in UP Diliman and  is currently on view at the Unionbank Plaza of Areté, Ateneo de Manila University and will run until 16 December 2017.  This project is organized by the Ateneo Art Gallery in cooperation with CANVAS.

Contact Jay Galang, Exhibitions Coordinator through jgalang@ateneo.edu or call AAG at 426-6488 for more information.

 

About the artist

Mark Justiniani (b. 1966, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental) studied painting at the University of the Philippines.  He is often identified with the lineage of Social Realism in the 1980’s and 1990’s in the Philippines often through artist-activist initiatives like Abay (Artista ng Bayan), Salingpusa (1984) and Sanggawa (1994). Justiniani received the Thirteen Artists Award in 1994 from the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He has represented the Philippines in various international conferences, workshops and exhibitions in Japan, Denmark, Australia, USA, Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia.  

Since 2006, after returning from the United States, Justiniani developed a series of assemblages and installations described as having “magic realist strains” but focusing on the nature of vision, configurations of space, and the ambivalent relationship between time and space using reflective media.  He explores these works in varied scales and as avenues to tackle philosophical, political, and sociological concerns.