Saturday, August 29, 2009

"unBOUNDed" by Jeho Bitancor (Sept 2-18, 2009)

(text by Jeho Bitancor)

How does space as a phenomenon translate to embodied articulations of personal and social significance?

Referencing my condition as a migrant, I had to grapple with this problematic and contemplate on other questions whether the space to locate our bodies constricting or liberating or both? If so, how does it manifest? Is it of our own choosing and creation, or is it imposed and inherited?

My inquiry was triggered by the tension I had to negotiate as a transient body constantly relocating itself, from the “periphery” to the “center”, and from the west coast to Midwest to east coast in barely two years. This would mean adapting to new circumstances and unfamiliar grounds. Or better yet, enduring/enjoying shifting working conditions; from a huge garage space in California, to a freezing open patio in Memphis, to a claustrophobic basement apartment in Jersey City, and finally to a decent studio space in the suburbs of Central New Jersey.

It is while working in a spare space in Jersey City measuring less than 7 x 5 ft in floor area that I have come to question the nature of my existence. Does the space I occupy define me or is it in defining myself that I inhabited it? Similarly, is the decision to be “in” the space and adhere to the condition it entails a result of my own volition alone or a product of inherited values historically ingrained within my psyche? It can be both in my case for there are a number of reasons that may be politically in/correct or even romantic. It can be the notion of growing artistically/ intellectually and recognizing my battle as a post-colonial subject, while at the same time grazing at my enemy’s pasture for which I am not yet guilty of.

For this exhibition, I have focused on subjects that are apparently social in context and navigating through issues that affect me. For me, there is no dividing line clearly delineating the personal to societal. I believe that personal experiences transcend to if not a direct result of the workings of society.

Age-old issues of vulnerability, conformity, dislocation, bondage, greed, identity and struggle are presented in various reconfigurations and re-contextualization. Utilizing as a device objects that contain figures or figures that resemble objects, the works allude to feelings of entrapment, enclosure and imprisonment. Others served as shelter and recluse, echoing the duality and manifold definition of inhabiting and identifying with a space.

Jeho Bitancor’s “unBOUNDed” Will be on view until September 18, 2009 at blanc Makati. blanc is located at Crown Tower, 107 H.V. dela Costa St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. For more information, please call (632) 752-0032 / call or sms +63920-9276436, email or visit,

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