Calle Wright is an art house located in the heart of Malate, Manila
An initiative realized by Isa Lorenzo and Rachel Rillo of Silverlens, it is a venue for mid-career and established artists to exhibit their work within a historical context. As an art space, it aims to engage community audiences and spaces within Manila, while also fostering an exchange between artists, curators, and cultural workers both within the Philippines and abroad.
In her latest project, Moving House, Unpacking a Life of Critical Art Making, Judy Freya Sibayan will be at Calle Wright for three months from August 3 to November 11, every Friday to Sunday, from 12 noon to 7pm to “unpack” a life of 43 years of art making.
Last month she turned 65, sold her home of twelve years and now needs to move her archive, her books and art collection. She now has to move house. Calle Wright, a space for presenting art but left in its original state as a house, is where Sibayan will “move house” for a short period of time. It is here where she will deal with the overwhelming “art stuff” she has lugged around all her life.
But beyond the act of literally unpacking these materials is the more critical performance of unpacking (explaining, accounting for) Moving House as a work of Institutional Critique; work resulting from Sibayan’s resignation in 1989 as director of the Contemporary Art Museum of the Philippines at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Confronted with the realities of power inequities in the production of art, she saw artists as hardly having any agency to make art critical of, or outside the dictates of these institutions. To deal with this crisis of faith, Sibayan began doing Institutional Critique, precisely that kind of art which calls into crisis the institution of art production itself (the institution of all the agents and agencies that partake in the fabrication, performance, conceptualization, circulation, distribution and reception of art). To reflect critically back on her own complicity as being part of this institution, she performs parodies of this institution to enact her critique: how to conceive of art’s subject differently to create new subjectivities and publics; how to produce new meanings beyond those that serve to maintain the dominant culture thus maintain the status quo; how to produce art with a different mode of address to critique dominant formations and power structures?
Moving House, Unpacking a Life of Critical Art Making is a 3-month long performance open to the public from 3 August to 11 November 2018 at Calle Wright, 1890 Vasquez St., Malate, Manila. Viewing hours are from 12nn-7pm, Friday to Sunday.
Judy Freya Sibayan (b. 1953, Baguio City) is a conceptual artist who lives and works in Manila. She has exhibited and performed in museums and galleries worldwide and taught at De La Salle University for three decades. Former director of the erstwhile Contemporary Art Museum of the Philippines, she has been the Museum of Mental Objects since 2002, a parodic performance for life. She is also co-founding editor and publisher of the online Ctrl+P Journal of Contemporary Art and is the author of The Hypertext HerMe(s), her autobiography published by KT Press in 2014 with a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. She studied fine arts at the University of the Philippines and completed her masters and doctoral degree in fine arts at the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles, USA and the De La Salle University, Manila, respectively.