The Cultural Center of the Philippines with support from Siliman University, Mariyah Gallery, Galleria Duemila, SalagZamboanga Jumalon Art House
DATE/ TIME/ VENUE:
Artists' talk:8 June, Wednesday, 4pm
MKP Hall, 4th floor
Opening reception: 8 June, Thursday, 6pm
Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino (3F Hallway Gallery)
Exhibit duration: 8 June to 14 August 2016
Pasilyo Vicente Manansala (2F Hallway Gallery) and Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino (3F Hallway Gallery)
Often used as a pejorative, the word promdi—the Filpino slang concatenation of “from the province”—refers to a person from the outskirts of our nation’s capital who is often depicted as naive, lacking in education, bereft of worldliness. The narrative of the promdi unhomes our protagonist in the big city where he contends with his own lack of sophistication, often to tragi- comedic effect. Through his foibles and misadventures, the promdi becomes our everyman—a lens by which we might each view our own relationships to cultural knowledge and the presumed centers from which it emanates.
The Promdi Project is a survey of contemporary art practices in Dumaguete and surrounding areas through the persona of the artist-teacher—a knowing analog of the protagonist of the promdi parable. Selection for the exhibition was based primarily on active contemporary visual arts practices whose tone and tenor draw from concurrent teaching practices, both informal and institution- based. The result is an array of work diverse in formal scope and complex in its investigations. Different pedagogical settings are represented in the exhibition: formal tertiary education from the arts programs of local universities, independent artist-initiated teaching, community-based collectives, and everything in be- tween. By using the extant, living framework of Dumaguete’s visual arts teaching, the exhibition hopes to raise questions not only about what is being taught but also about who the promdi is, who learner and teacher happen to be.
By aiming the Promdi exhibitions outside of Dumaguete— towards Manila, in particular—the project offers the promise of a knowing self-parody, an aggressive reaching towards ownership of the promdi identity without unintended irony. We are not only Gustave Flaubert's Bouvard et Pécuchet but we are also Manuel Conde's Juan Tamad Goes to Congress—framing, in a decidedly self-aware gesture, the periphery against the center.