MAY 19-31, 2021

Obscure Wonderings / Wanderings

Written by Marika Constantino


I am not sure if writing this would be therapeutic, stressful, cathartic, or nerve-wracking; given that we  are a little over a year after the continued botched handling of this pandemic. The mismanagement of  the country’s welfare (be it economic, political, health, cultural, spiritual, educational – basically all  facets of our lives), has resulted to a lot of anxiety and distress. Up to this moment there are still no  clear and credible plans with regard to testing, contact tracing and vaccination. The population has  been tempered with fear; inept rationalizations and pronouncements by bureaucrats and military generals who do not have the requisite technical background or expertise to respond to the pandemic.  While other countries are moving their resources to create a better normal for their citizenry, it seems  that we have not advanced at all.

With the government’s empty and baseless rhetoric, what kind of future are we facing?

Katherine Nuñez and Juno Vizcarra provide a visual editorial of our current realities and expectations  in relation to what is forthcoming. Diverse as their works may be, both chronicle present outlooks,  missing prospects, and suspended disbelief. At the onset, these may seem bleak and desolate. However,  as you absorb its content and context, their renditions provide a glimmer of encouragement and anticipation. Its aspirational aspects can be seen and felt from the laborious process, buoyant hues, or pro pitious renderings. In spite and despite of what is existing or what is wanting, we will overcome.

Vizcarra’s paintings and photobooks are impressions of extant truths. As opposed to our current state,  she consciously or unconsciously grounds her works from a scientific peg. According to the artist:  “These are a series of works that depict a future we once thought of. It is separated into three parts:  myocardium representing emotions, spindles illustrating sensory experiences and cerebellum portraying balance.” Further prompted by media and her immediate surroundings, her three-piece-structure  is a compendium of ebbs and flows, blurring the past present and future into an alternate reality.

On the other hand, Nuñez’ tapestries and installation are imbued with subtexts. Her daily toil is in scribed through her meticulous needlework. Much like what we go through with each day, we just  forge on. Her crochets and embroideries are mindful introspections. As she intimates: “I draw heavily  on the laboring body as inspiration, hence the colors I mostly chose for the threads are colors that can  may remind the viewer of the body: reds, browns, some blacks and blues. My works are projected in ward, pointing more to my own experience as an artist given these precarious times. In a way it is au tobiographical because my work tries to replicate my experiences visually through its processes.”

The thread that binds each artist and their works to us is our collective encounter. We can relate to  their narratives because these are our deliberations as well. As I compose my thoughts, the exhibition  is still untitled. It draws a parallel to the uncertainties ahead: unprecedented and unknown. Yet, in the  face of ambiguity and insecurity, we struggle to rouse a hopeful countenance, grasping at every strand  of optimism we can muster.