The exhibitions “Dark Memories: Torture, Incarceration, Disappearance, and Death During Martial Law,” featuring black-and-white photographs by Rick Rocamora and “Alaala ng Martial Law” with pen and ink works by Edgar Doctor opens on 15 September, Thursday, at the Ateneo Art Gallery. In line with the ML@50 campaign, the tandem exhibitions showcase works documenting personal experiences and family stories during martial law.
“Dark Memories: Torture, Incarceration, Disappearance, and Death During Martial Law” features forty-nine photographs of Martial Law victims, survivors, and their friends and families, accompanied by firsthand accounts and shared experiences. Featured in the exhibition are portraits of Pete Lacaba, Bonifacio Ilagan, Neri Colmenares, Loretta “Etta” Rosales, Susan Araneta, Tina Bawagan, Fulgencio “Jun” Factoran, Jr. and Jose “Butch” Dalisay, Jr, among others. Each face represents thousands more whose lives were changed with the imposition of Martial Law in 1972.
Rocamora started working on the project in 2011 as his contribution to the collective efforts of institutions and individuals to make sure that these dark memories will not be forgotten. This series is also a way to share these stories with younger generations. Visitors can access complete personal accounts via QR codes provided in the exhibition.
“Alaala ng Martial Law” showcases pen and ink works by Edgar Doctor reflective of the artist’s memories and experiences during Martial Law. These drawings evoke only a fraction of the emotions, strife, and grueling times that thousands have faced under the 14-year-long regime.
As an artist, Doctor found the need to document the crimes and unjust violations through his work, specifically through pen and ink. The never-before-seen works highly contrast Doctor’s usual practice of genre and landscape watercolor paintings. Its timely presentation makes the series even more meaningful for the artist. The exhibit also serves as a reminder of the history Martial Law holds, in that it should never be forgotten.
“Dark Memories: Torture, Incarceration, Disappearance, and Death During Martial Law” and “Alaala ng Martial Law” will be on view at the Wilson L. Sy Prints and Drawings Gallery, 2/F Ateneo Art Gallery, Soledad V Pangilinan Wing, Areté, Ateneo de Manila University until 18 March 2023.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Rick Rocamora is an award-winning documentary photographer and author of 5 photo books. His works are a part of the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His images about Muslim-Americans will be published by Tokyo University of Foreign Studies before the end of 2022.
Edgar Doctor is a modern and contemporary artist who primarily creates sculptures and genre and landscape watercolor paintings. He earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Santo Tomas in 1965. He also spent six months working for the National Historical Commission as an illustrator and diorama artist. This exhibition features never-before-seen works which he created during the 70s.