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ART ATTACK

UP Vargas Museum presents ‘Forms without vanishing points: Diagrams for sensing and becoming’ by Buen Calubayan

The UP Vargas Museum presents Forms without vanishing points: Diagrams for sensing and becoming by artist Buen Calubayan currently on view at the museum’s 1/F Galleries until January 2024.

The UP Vargas Museum presents Forms without vanishing points: Diagrams for sensing and becoming by artist Buen Calubayan currently on view at the museum’s 1/F Galleries until January 2024. It assembles Calubayan’s current transcriptions of his long-term research on landscapes as genre, form, and as a device. The exhibition will be activated by collateral activities throughout its duration.

Buen Calubayan (b. 1980), a frequent collaborator of the UP Vargas Museum, returns with a project after his previous works “We are going to have to live outside.” (2021) and Holdings with the Working Artists Group (2015).

His artworks and diagrams, which will fill the museum’s ground floor glass walls, encapsulate his research on landscapes. Inside the museum space he will also present texts and documents from his personal archive as well as The Vargas Collection that append the landscape and the methods with which to decode them.

At its core, to understand a diagram requires placing the self—a cartographic location identified by ‘you are here.’ Schematics and diagrams allude to sensible and singular unities. Calubayan, however, questions this one-dimensionality through the co-optation of the linear diagrammatic tool that is the perspective system. The Western genre of the landscape that governs the illusion of farther things appearing smaller subconsciously informs our picturing, understanding, and sense of being in the world. This form of knowledge predominantly frames disciplinal fields such as navigation, engineering, philosophy, and the fine arts.

Calubayan asserts the embodied view of the landscape; that the view and the viewer are irreparably fused and affective of each other. The horizon and our perceptual field is moving, at once expanded and warped by our fields of memory and experience. Linear perspective transforms the world of matter into horizon lines, vanishing points, and picture planes. These static and flat logical shorthands have been exacerbated by modes of virtuality in the modern world.

Calubayan questions how our reality is rendered through these tools and juxtaposes them with counter-methods including indigenous knowledge systems, Steiner pedagogy, and his own work Instructions for Viewing the Landscape, Perspective Coordinates of Spoliarium and others. His initial questions have brought him farther afield. These queries persist: what tools enable a worldview, how are encompassing pictures, images, and worldviews constructed and negotiated? What is happening in the unfathomable chasm that connects and divides the self and the world? The exhibition also captures a view of a landscape, rendering it to be interrogated, then releasing it to vanish once more.

The public is invited to attend the onsite activities of the exhibition Forms without vanishing points: Diagrams for sensing and becoming by artist Buen Calubayan happening from November 2023 to January 2024. The series of activities explores three aspects that anchor the exhibition: the experience of a landscape, sensing the world, and forms of resistance. Register here: bit.ly/UPVMDiagramsEvents.

First, the experience of a landscape and the activation of diagrams pertaining to the Steiner-Waldorf pedagogy through Lazure painting and form drawing workshops. The workshops will be facilitated by Lormie Lazo, Maria Ester Samaniego, and Kara Escay.

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Lazure painting is a community- and process-oriented painting activity that uses layers of overlapping transparent colors. The paint is applied with a brush following the rhythmic pattern of a lemniscate, or infinity symbol, accompanied by meditative breathing exercises. Lazure painting is done on the walls of Waldorf classrooms to make them “breathable” and conducive to learning and imagination. The workshop will take place on 18 November 2023 (Saturday) from 9:00 am to 12:00 nn, pre-registration for individual participation is required, pay-what-you-can (minimum of 300 php per person).

Form drawing is used in art therapy as a focusing tool to facilitate balance and movement and to give order to the “inner landscape.” The form drawing workshop will take place on 25 November 2023 (Saturday) from 9:00 am to 12:00 nn, pre-registration for individual participation is required, pay-what-you-can (minimum of 300 php per person).

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