Photography Works 2020
Curated by artist, writer, cultural organizer, and educator, Angel Velasco Shaw, Not Visual Noise is a seminal photography exhibition that will feature more than 30 artists living in the Philippines and in the Filipino diaspora. It aims to showcase a diverse range of artists engaged in photography-based art practices whose works broadly represent what is happening in the fields of photography today — from photojournalism, long-form documentary photography to conceptual and installation photography, and web/social media-based projects. The exhibition examines the tension between high/low culture and high/low art photography in a media-saturated world in the hopes of drawing in wider and newer audiences.
Featured artists in this exhibition are National Artist Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera, Ezra Acayan, Alex Baluyut, Ringo Bunoan, Nana Buxani, Geloy Concepcion, Geric Cruz, Kiri Dalena, Lizza May David, Neil Daza, Kawayan de Guia, Kidlat de Guia, Romina Diaz, Carlo Gabuco, Tommy Hafalla, Nap Jamir, Raffy Lerma, Marta Lovina, At Maculangan, Wawi Navarroza, Neal Oshima, Gina Osterloh, Butch Perez, Rick Rocamora, Emmanuel Santos, Lawrence Sumulong, Stephanie Syjuco, Wig Tysmans, Veejay Villafranca, Boy Yñiguez, and MM Yu.
WHOEVER SAID THAT ONE SHOOTING DAY IS 24 HOURS? 2019
These photographs were taken from 2005 to 2012 during a period when movie and television workers generally accepted the idea that one shooting day is 24 hours or even 30 hours. I shot them out of boredom and to keep me awake as shooting hours extended to the early morning hours. Although there has been improvements in the industry’s working hours, my perennial question – whoever said that one shooting day is 24 hours? remains relevant and unanswered.
Take it, shoot anyway: A review of ‘Not Visual Noise’
‘Not Visual Noise’: Why photography (still) matters
IMAGES FROM THE EXHIBITION CONTAIN GRAPHIC VIOLENT CONTENT. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Wala. Pero meron talaga.
NILalaman ng pagtatanghal na ito ang ilang mga eksena ng kawalan―ng malay, ng katinuan, ng bait, ng karapatan, ng buhay. Nakagugulantang ang mga imahe pero hindi nakagugulat sa karamihan ang ipinapakita. Naging laman ng mga balita, isinuka para sa maralita, habang nagpaparaya ang mga may-kapangyarihang dapat talagang makakita.
Sa KamayNILaan nakunan o saan man, ang mga litrato rito ay sumasalamin sa realidad na may nagtutunggaling mga panig sa anumang usapin. Sa isang banda, ihahalintulad ng ilan ang mga larawang ito sa basura, na dapat idispatya at huwag nang ilantad kaninuman. Sa kabilang banda, hindi kaunti ang maghahalintulad ng mga ito sa mga bagay na pampagising ng diwa, dala ng pagpupukaw na maaaring maranasan kung pagmasdan at pag-isipan ang makikita rito.
Iba’t ibang buhay man ang panandaliang iNILalahad rito, nagkakaisa ang mga litratong ito sa pagpapakita ng katiwalian. Ngunit sino ang tunay na tiwali? Ang mga nasa larawan? O ang lipunan o sangkatauhan na kaNILang NILalarawan?
Ang mga tao na makikita―karamihan ay mga DaNILo (hindi tunay na pangalan), may ilang mga BeNILda (hindi tunay na pangalan)―ay NILason ng gutom, hirap, poot, pighati o kaya, oo, maling asal at hindi wastong diwa. NILabas ang anumang armas o nagtangkang tumakas. NILamon ng kabaliwan, kamunduhan, kasakiman, kahirapan. NILusob, ng sarili man o ibang pwersa, ang sana’y mapayapa NILang mga tahanan, barangay o kinatatayuan. NILamas, hindi NILinis, ang pagkatao. NILunok ang dangal, NILamangan ng mga mapang-api, NILapastangan ng mapanghusga, NILoko ng matatakaw na kapwa tao na halimaw ang kalooban. Binalot ng trahedya, sinaksak ng pulitika, NILaglag ng sistema.
Ang masuwerte sa kanila ay NILalamok, NILalanggam sa selda. Hindi man makapag-NILagang paborito o relyenong gusto, maaari pang magbago, maaari pang lumaya. Ang iba rito ay NILagutan ng hininga, ninakawan ng pag-asa kapalit ng paglaya mula sa pang-habangbuhay na rehas nitong malupit na mundo.
Ang malungkot pa rito, bagama’t ilang taon na ang nakalilipas nang makuha ang mga larawang ito―noon kapanahunang hindi pa NILalabas ang pinagsanib na kamera at telepono―hindi pa rin nawala sa ating bansa ang ganitong mga eksena. Kung hindi natin papansinin ang mga detalye sa ilalim o paligid ng bawat litrato, iisipin natin na kahapon lang o nung makalawa nakunan ang mga nakalarawan dito.
Sa pagsulyap sa mga litratong ito, marahil ay mapapatanong tayo: May pag-asa pa ba ang mga Pilipino, lalo na ang kagaya NILa na karamiha’y dukha? May pag-asa pa ba para sa lipunang marahas? May pag-asa pa ba para sa ating iisang bayan na, sa kabila ng lahat, ating sinisinta?
Marahil ang sagot ay oo kung tatanggapin natin, pagniNILay-NILayan at gagawan ng paraan ang katotohanang ito: Sila ay tayo. Tayo ay sila.
BERT SULAT, JR. / 2018
No Such Thing as the Good Old Days by Mike Belardo / The Philippine Star
HOWEVER VAST THE DARKNESS : NEIL DAZA’S 25 TIMES
“But what is light really? Is it a wave or a shower of photons? There seems no likelihood for forming a consistent description of the phenomena of light by a choice of only one of the two languages. It seems as though we must use sometimes the one theory and sometimes the other, while at times we may use either. We are faced with a new kind of difficulty. We have two contradictory pictures of reality; separately neither of them fully explains the phenomena of light, but together they do.”
– Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld, The Evolution of Physics
“Wala sa pana ‘yan, nasa indian.” – Filipino colloquial proverb
It is often stated that light is both a wave and a particle. That in some situations it behaves like the former and in others it behaves like the latter. Looking at only one theory and not the other is not enough to describe its nature. And even after centuries of “conscious brooding” (to take a phrase that Einstein himself used in one of his letters) it remains a phenomenon that resists easy detection by a single lens.
The photographs of Neil Daza are products of light. They are also documents of a life spent making movies. Each picture is of a particular moment: an actor in contemplation between camera set-ups, a crowd of movie fans gathered on the margins of a film set, a ticket seller waiting and expecting for someone to approach, a projectionist watching for when to change reels or maybe for the feature to end. Yet taken as a collection they also chronicle a 25-year period wherein one era of Filipino cinema dissolved so quickly to the next that it was perhaps only perceptible to have shifted in hindsight. In effect, they are both portraits of cinema’s recent past and still frames in the narrative of its unfolding future.
Part of that account includes illuminating a period of transition, from 35mm film to digital, and how this alteration in the fundamental way images are recorded and transmitted resulted in epochal change. Concurrently, it also casts a shadow on prevailing attempts to present dichotomies or schisms within contemporary Filipino cinema, most especially the question of what is mainstream or independent—and if any of those distinctions really mean anything anymore.
If anything, the pictures themselves are the reply.
The fact that Daza’s images are borne from his experiences as a filmmaker on sets using both celluloid and digital technologies, for big budget productions and on smaller “indie” films, and throughout eras that witnessed the close of last of the grand old movie houses and the surge of online streaming, are enough of an answer.
More than that, they tell a story—and that’s all that should matter.
Erwin Romulo July 2017
Born and based in Manila, Erwin Romulo is an award-winning writer, magazine editor, music producer, and creative director. He is most known for being the founding editor-in-chief of Esquire Magazine, Philippine Edition and for producing musical scores for films such as On The Job, Honor Thy Father, and Buy Bust as well as the sound design of A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery.