The Glo-Magic Wand (A Plug-in tool:)
What happens if a President abuses the privilege to choose (or delete from list) National Artists? Howls of protest, naturally! Van Gogh's ear would have bled again, Frida Kahlo's eyebrows would have joined in unison; the last drip to have broken Pollock's back, Ocampo would have snapped his favorite brush, Legaspi would have burnt his curtain mural..all in disgust!
View from Sydney (above image)
A nation's flag a stylized Japanese where yellow turned black at the Center. It was the day I've opened emails and news and felt terribly sad and wronged as someone who grew up in the Philippines.
Black is symbolic of mourning by Filipino artists in protest of this year's scandalous selection of National Artists Awards, waving but not drowning amid a sea of yellow flags that bade Cory Aquino farewell.
Struth! Me mates are up in arms and I'm no doob not to empathize. Ah, Australia, proud of an adopted land that nurtured and influenced half a lifetime of relentless cultural learning; a country which encouraged new citizens to integrate but not to forget positive traits and national heritage they had to offer; and inspirited universal values practised by a community of democratic nations.
Corruption is vehemently frowned upon and emphatically asserts that no one is above the law. Decency rules.
So what has happened to Philippine delicadeza, a Filipino trait that meant refinement and decency? Politics in the National Artist Awards?
I heard of the terrible news from voluminous emails, FaceBook posts and online papers that the process of selection was anomalous..
..that is to say, a presidential privelege had rudely interfered with the NCCA 's (National Commission for Culture and Arts) logical selection process.
The Adobo PhoneyShop (Lutong-Macao)
Let's pretend we're a team doing a digital painting. Not too complicated, just objective, honest and has quality of intent to create a digital artistic scenario of a nation proud to the world.
Well you know, let's GoogleSketch a monument there by Tolentino, Cut & Paste a canvas there by Amorsolo or Luz, print out a BenCab there, vector down some beautiful libraries behind the trees designed by Nakpil or Locsin..and where we could read a Joaquin or Villa.
Around here would be moviehouses that would play old Brockas and Bernals, let's embed audios of Kasilag or Celerio..
..and high up there would be museums and galleries where we could relish the intoxicating legacies of people who have sacrificed a lot of personal time, energy and priveleges for generations to come.
Then "Wham!" As we were confidently immersed in the most basic, unpirated version of a third-world PhotoShop, there was this weird, selective tool that interfaced and interfered, and in the process deleted the creations of fair dinkum Filipino artists.
It was a malware of a bloody plug-in; a political magic wand with a forced tolerance of 100%.
We then protested politely against the use of the presidential magic wand where the selection seemed random (not to mention Control+A), A for abuse.
Random means erratic, undiscerning and uncaring! Alas! Just pressing shortcut keys Control + Shift+I on the Presidential keyboard instantly reversed the selection process (eeriely the shortcut keys are also qualities of a leadership which is controlling, shifty and egotistic).. then horror!..
..the Delete button sunk with a clunk and with much impugnity; totally aloof to the painting's outcome.
Heritage areas were surrounded by selective marching ants that excitedly danced and overwhelmed the landscape.
But wait, there's more! Control + V and splack! (Whadda?!)
Something was suddenly pasted from the unseen Presidential clipboard!
It was strange, alien and heavy like watered-down acrylic paint.
Damn, it was too late. Somebody had flattened the image while no one's looking; that was when everyone rolled their eyes.
Sorry, no Control+Z, no undo's here, History was cleared! Kaput!
The final landscape painting looked horrible yet it was Saved in the Presidential folder.
Everyone of us in the art team/committee looked at each other dazed..then walked out in disgust.
It was to add insult to the pain of a Cory-less nation.
Talk is cheap? So here are photos all over this blog entry.
Just faces of artists and our National Artists who have significantly helped shape the nation's cultural and artistic landscape.
All photos taken at the CCP in this blog entry were by Tilak Hettige (who gave permission via BenCab)..
..and Ige Ramos who gave permission via FaceBook. Thanks guys. Mabuhay kayo!
F. Sionil Jose, Arturo Luz, Bienvenido Lumbera, Napoleon Abueva, Virgilio Almario, Salvador Bernal, & BenCab led artists & community in a Necrological Service & Funeral March for the National Artist Awards last Friday August 7-2009 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The planting of black ribbons on CCP front lawn was Jun Yee's art installation concept but everyone joined in, including Tilak.Read my other blog entry on National Artist BenCab.
Hex, Lies & Videos
Here's our National Heavyweight on YouTube; plus a 3-part video of Che-Che Lazaro's Media in Focus (ANC)
Just received a new video from a friend. Indeed, everyone needs a refreshment:)