Museum of Three Cultures

Ongoing Project: Off site / Out of Sight


Back to Square 1/Juan’s Off Site/Out of Sight art projects deliberately pose a contrast to those found in spic and span galleries and other spaces often too clinical or intimidating to most. Project artists literally and figuratively peg their work upon a backstory about how UP might be thought of as an ecosystem that needs a jumpstart possibly from artists like themselves.

In works that don’t pull any punches nor facetiously conceal their seams and underside, artists like Mars Bugaoan, Cagayan de Oro Arts Guild, Cavity Collective, Contemporists Collaborative, Ohm David, Arvi Fetalvero, Lyra Garcellano, Carlo Gernale, Carol Peña-Santos, Merv Pimentel, Roselle Pineda, Alma Quinto, Claro Ramirez, Jose John Santos III and Pam Yan Santos, Ioannis Sicuya, Katti Sta Ana, Manolo Sicat, Talaandig Artists, Angel Ulama, Ferdz Valencia, Oca Villamiel, WALA, Christopher Zamora, and Eric Zamuco, among others, respond both to the spaces of the former UP stud farm and the stories in and around this site which essentially fell into disuse when the Marcoses fell out of favour in EDSA1. 

In containing work within the old stud farm turned materials recovery facility now used for segregating solid waste generated by UP campus along with receiving yardwaste and rubble from Quezon City hall, Off Site/ Out of Sight imagines how art might play into preventing one of the formerly greenest spots on campus from turning into a virtual Smokey Mountain/ Payatas lookalike and live-a-like. In challenging themselves to transform this back into a green hub not only for art but community engagement, the project partners find themselves dealing not only with creative problems but complex issues of territoriality and skewed resources . The process of occupying the stud farm’s old administration building and stables for Off Site/Out of Sight also consists of workshops done with willing partner informal settler communities as well as immersing into the complicated social soup of relations between these communities, the UP bureaucratic structure, and local government. Not attempting any cookie cutter solutions nor posing panacea platitudes, Off Site hopefully imprints on those part of it that making art of this stream requires negotiations beyond form and technical dexterity, and necessarily questions the notion of good intentions.

Partly in response to this latter concern are Off Site/Out of Sight’s collateral workshops that count on community-mapping, collaborative production of installative elements while in the midst of possibly tense dialogues between contending stakeholders, exploring how situations infused with play-learning and even basic design/crafting might open up individuals to otherwise unimagined possibilities that suggest more humane forms of relating and living. It is a tactical approach to effecting intersections between the parallel lives of university faculty, staff and students alongside those of daily UP transients/settlers like laundryservice and maintenance personnel, shopkeepers, vendors, barkers, trike drivers, etc. who are in and out of UP’s 493-hectare space for varying lengths of time but who are all dependent on its land and resources. 

The Off Site/Out of Sight installations will be open to the public beginning 16 February 9am, and will officially be launched with a program at 4pm of the same day. This project will continue through 9 March 2015. Please check http:// www.projectbakawan.com/ for updated schedules and details. Inquiries may be made via backtosquare1.2013@gmail.com 

Off Site/Out of Sight is done in partnership with Project Bakawan, the Back to Square 1 independent art platform, UP College of Arts and Letters Department of Art Studies/Art Studies Foundation, UP College of Fine Arts, the Office of the Chancellor UP Diliman, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, the Office of Community Relations, Barangay UP Campus, UP Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Office of Student Affairs, kindred private volunteers and supporters, Adarna House, the UP Outdoor Recreation Group, UP Journ Club, UP ASTERISK, Shawarma BrosThe Snack Shack, the Tin Can Makers Association of the Philippines, Inc, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and IPM Construction and Development Corporation.