Altromondo

Phases

  • Start

    04 December 2014
  • End

    04 January 2015
  • Artists

    Jim Caumeron, Joseph Rastrullo, Kristine Caguiat, Stuart Dee Yang, Tara Soriano

  • Venue

    Altro Mondo • Arte Contemporanea 3rd Level Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City
With more layers than a tear-jerking onion, the subject of that four-letter word LOVE offers more proposals than any latter-day Romeo can proffer his beloved Juliet. As most of all humans who have been stricken by it know, we are all heirs to its magical bliss and miserable lows. With what may initially impress us as an unromantic proposal, a group of intrepid artists and brave souls ponder with much passion the slings and arrows of our outrageous selves lain prostrate on the altar of love.Delineation is the design of the show, as each artist assigns to himself certain experiences from which he can wring out all the ironies, joys and sufferings, humiliations and hubris, and every shading of the love/hate aspects of this mysterious human experience. Each artwork is an index that serves as a medium for the deconstruction of material that must endure the intimate appraisal and examination of the love-struck moment.“Finding Love” finds the artist Jim Caumeron swooning to the object of desire, mooning in his statement with sweet lament: “When the field is ready for harvest, not everyone reaps.” He creates constructions from woodblocks, such as “The Cropped Circle.” Of this work, the artist seems to have programmed those who are outside the charmed, lucky circle, as he intones: “The Cropped Circle” is a form of isolation for those who haven’t found love.”

“Courtship” conveys exactly the thrill of the ritual, the ceremony between the sexes who seem to be spectators in their own reality shows. Joseph Rastrullo, a graduate of the College of St. Benilde, with his self-proclaimed passion for design, lives up to his enthusiasms. He holds up to the viewer an acrylic lamp of star-burst design. The choice of image is by turns uncanny and stunning. When he touches diverse materials such as fiber, resin, wood and plastic, he is teeming, bursting with visual ideas.

“Romance” won’t get in the way of starry-eyed Rastrullo, who in his apparition of a piano made resin-flesh hears the music of the spheres when the beloved comes near. He speaks of light sparkling in the dark, like music lilting out from the deafening silence. The innocence of romance is captured without histrionics as when he declares: “When together, everything just seems so clear and perfect.” Are we not surprised that his piano is radiant with illuminated lights, roped around its sheer, transparent body?

“Baggage” is a burden that flies across the vision of Kristine Caguiat’s snow-white paper flowers. Spiky with petals glaring at the offending lover, these bouquets of flowers bespeak, as the artist declares, of the fragility and precariousness of romantic relationships, burdened by unrealistic expectations and unfulfilled emotional needs, as though a lifetime partnership were a transaction arranged for mere convenience and financial comfort. Whether it’s the plastic flowers of credit cards or the paper petals of currency bills, love must transcend the economics of living.

“True Love” awaits the strumming of Tara Soriano’s phantasmal guitar, oozing with jigsaw metal pieces. An artist and a jeweler, she finds the jigsaw as a metaphor for the puzzle that has troubled mankind since Adam and Eve. It is a false notion that true love can endure without sacrifice and commitment.

“Slip” is Stuart Paul Dee Yang’s sculptural piece that carries a seemingly ruthless message to the dangers of an eroding relationship, slipping into alienation and distance, indifference and then the irreparable damage of utter uncaring. Yang creates a pair of sinister children engaged in the tearing apart of a once common property. Rising above them are the figures of a man and a woman, once fused and merged, now extricating from each other in a sad, pathetic parting. Overhead is a huge metallic question mark that asks the unnameable reason of separation.

“Break-up” is the logical direction of the unstoppable slippage. Some relationships generate more heat and passion that could be contained by the lovers, sparking conflicts and stark confrontations that strip them of their essential and precious dignity. Wounding words of accusation, if not physical violence, cause the inevitable separation of emotional attachments.

“Time Apart” or, as popular parlance would put it, a “cooling off” period — a time to test the limits of each other’s sense of loss. A time for solitude, as each of the lovers seek the solace of their own selves, with no other need that to catch a reflection of their own true worth. Only when a person is whole unto himself/herself can a merging with another turn out to be a balanced and secure relationship. Jim Caumeron’s “Anatomy of Separation” is a wooden structure shaped like a topiary distanced from its roots.

“Reconciliation” or as Shakespeare, would put it, “All’s well that ends well.” Tara Soriano contemplates this happiest of conclusions, when a relationship survives and transcends the fires and struggles inherent in two souls living and breathing as one. Purified in the smithy of true love, the lovers can only acknowledge to each is less than the whole without each other.

“Phases” is a touching tribute to life’s greatest mystery and gift to mankind.