Know Your Enemy: Factsheet at International Hotel Manilatown Center

April 1, 2010 at 8:06 am 3 comments

untitled, Zeus Bascon, 2010, International Hotel Manilatown Center

Just peeped an excellent show at the Manilatown Heritage Foundation’s gallery at the International Hotel.  Entitled Factsheet: Activism Is Not A Crime, the exhibit includes thirty posters decrying human rights abuses in the Philippines.

The posters were created by artists both in the Philippines and the U.S. and represent a broad range of styles and approaches. Epjay’s Silencio uses straight-up graphics and text in the tradition of the best agit-prop one-sheets. England Hidalgo’s Cleansing takes after punk’s DIY aesthetic, combining line drawing, painting, photocopying, and collage. By hanging them side-by-side the exhibit presents two very different but equally effective visions of what a political poster can be.

Silencio, Epjay, 2010, and Cleansing, England Hidalgo, 2010, International Hotel Manilatown Center

The show is chock-full of these types of juxtapositions, and is a testament to the talent and vision of the artists included. Factsheet is an excellent example of the many ways that artists can conceptualize and produce forceful pieces of political art.

Each poster in the show has a small factsheet that concisely identifies the title, artist, and incident that inspired it. Together with the expressionistic artwork they accompany, these simply worded placards are explosive examples of the power of words and images to define and illuminate injustices.

136th Noli Capulong, J. Pacena, 2010, International Hotel Manilatown Center

For instance, J. Pacena’s 136th Noli Capulong , states “Noli Capulong,  Deputy Secretary-General of Bayan Muna’s Southern Tagalog chapter assassinated Calamba, 2006.” The poster it accompanies is a simple image of a bound man in a Jeep, his body pierced in four places by a sinuous orange line. The title refers to Capulong’s status as the 136th victim of state-sponsored assassination in the Southern Tagalog region—a human-rights activist, he was shot four times while driving his Jeep after meeting with tenants who were fighting eviction.

Through their work the artists in the show are bringing to light and surfacing the wrongdoings of the government, police, church, and military in the Philippines. They’re using their skill and vision to continue pressuring President Gloria Arroyo to correct these abuses and to bring those responsible to justice. Which is pretty cool if you think about it, and a nice way to make significant and meaningful work in an artworld that is all too often narcissistic and irrelevant.

Factsheet: Activism Is Not A Crime

Through April 24, 2010

Closing reception, Sat. April 24, 4-6p

International Hotel Manilatown Center

868 Kearny Street @ Jackson Street

San Francisco CA 94108 | 415-777-1130 Office | 415-399-9580 Gallery

Gallery hours: 1PM – 6PM, Tuesday – Saturday

Admission: Free

UPDATE: from one of the organizers of the show. Closing reception Saturday, April 24th, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM, featuring live performance by Diskarte Namin and food for sale by Coco Lim (partial proceeds benefiting Manilatown Heritage Foundation). Be there!

UPDATE 2: Factsheet has moved across the Bay to Oakland for a run.

Factsheet: Activism is NOT a Crime

May thru June 2010

Asian Resource Gallery

310 Eighth Street, Oakland Chinatown

Open Monday thru Friday, 9am to 6pm

Artists/ curators Lian Ladia and Con Cabrera from Filipino cultural activist collectives in the U.S. (Kwatro Kantos) and the Philippines (ARREST) initiated this project, which is traveling to different cities across the globe.

RECEPTION:  Thursday, May 27th, 6 pm • FREE to the public

Featuring speakers from the recent People’s International Observers Mission and performances by Yaminah Lunar, The Kasamas, and AYPAL dance crew.

For more information, contact:

Greg Jung Morozumi c/o Asian Resource Gallery, 510/532-9692

FACTSHEET is co-sponsored by Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines(SF), Anakbayan (East Bay), BAYAN USA, & Filipino Advocates for Justice

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Entry filed under: activism, politics, visual art. Tags: , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. TJ  |  April 19, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Closing reception this Saturday, April 24th, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM, featuring live performance by Diskarte Namin and food for sale by Coco Lim (partial proceeds benefiting Manilatown Heritage Foundation). Thank you for this article. 🙂 Full disclosure: I’m a member of one of the co-sponsoring organizations, San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (SF-CHRP).

    Reply
    • 2. valeriesoe  |  April 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      Excellent! I’ll post this as an update, too. The show is great–thanks so much for putting it together.

      Reply
  • 3. Ed Waffle  |  May 7, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    I somehow missed this post initially. Very powerful images–“Silencio Por Favor” is a real knockout.

    Reply

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