LAST UPDATED: 27 MAY 2020, 4.00 (GMT)
Continuing its mission to build trust and cultural relations between the Philippines and the UK, the British Council supported Motions of this Kind: Propositions and Problems of Belatedness, the first institutional exhibition in the UK dedicated to recent contemporary art practices from the Philippines. Eleven contemporary artists from the Philippines were on spotlight at the exhibition, featuring newly commissioned work, as well as materials from the never-before exhibited Ifor B. Powell archive.
Motions of this Kind explored the ebb and flow of images, the surge and sweep of concepts and bodies alike. A title taken from Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia, the expression considers the literal rise and fall of tides as much as the metaphorical fluctuation of ideas. The project explored the historical and contemporary forces linking this archipelago with other key global spheres of social, political, and economic power.
With belatedness as the central theme, Motions of this Kind examined the ways in which time and contemporaneity move through turbulent eddies rather than smooth flowing rivers, creating, as Homi Bhabha termed it, ‘ambivalent’, ‘disjunctive’ temporalities. It explored the way that time and space are drawn together into tidal currents that can both hasten and delay circulation, disrupt or enable new pathways to emerge. It attempted to diagram the relationships of movement, and the politics of speed, from, within and between the Philippine Islands.
Motions of this Kind was co-curated by practitioners from the UK and Philippines, namely Rafael Schacter, Renan Laru-an and Merv Espina. The Foyle Special Collections Gallery is curated by Cristina Juan with support from Delphine Mercier.
The exhibit incorporated a range of public programming, including a performance by artist Eisa Jocson in her first performance in the UK; a range of experimental film screenings; as well as a one-day colloquium on 12 April 2019. It was held at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London.