B.a.B.E.L. (Building a Better Edifice Leisurely)


Underground Gallery

Nice Buenaventura draws lines at random, converging into regular polygons. The two-dimensional then stretches into space, leaving her an assortment of wooden prisms.

The conceit here is that the works begin their existence as blanks, essentially paperweights. That the art-making lies in the transformation of these proxy canvases is a wager that Buenaventura and Underground Gallery are making with Building a Better Edifice Leisurely, an exhibition by 20+ artists of varied practices.

Foregoing the opportunity to impose a thematic constraint with regard to the work, it is a structural limitation that ties the exhibition together: the aforementioned wooden blanks must be utilized like so:

1) All four blocks must be present in the artwork

2) Additions to and subtractions from the individual blocks do not render their shapes unrecognizable

3) Maintaining the assembly feature of the blocks is optional

Thus achieved is the coherent pitting of a collagist’s work against a photographer’s, a making-sense out of a conceptual artist’s vision as it meets a hyperrealist’s attempt at sculpture. Instead of a predictable addition to each artist’s oeuvre, the pieces then become:

A bizarro interpolation of what might have been, had, say, Luis Santos decided to work with geometric wood;

A portent of what might be, in the off chance that Don Djerassi Dalmacio decides to pursue sculpture;

A minimalist detour for Yasmin Sison;

(& What Would Nilo Ilarde Do?)

etc, etc, etc.

It is B.A.B.E.L.’s unusual constraint that makes what would otherwise be yet another group show an event of note, an off-the-cuff game of exquisite corpse of sorts, a tabletop fill-in-the-blanks narrative.

— Owel Alvero

Works in order of appearance: Nilo Ilarde, Nice Buenaventura, Juan Alcazaren, Felix Bacolor and Hubert San Juan

Photo: Czar Kristoff