PRELUDE | CARLOS AMORALES
FEBRUARY 10, 2017 - MARCH 20, 2017
CURATED BY DIANA CAMPBELL BETANCOURT
Alluding to a future act and speaking to the role of sound that echoes across the artist’s diverse practice, Prelude presents Mexico City based artist Carlos Amorales’ work for the first time in the Philippines. Amorales’ family settled in Acapulco via the galleon route from Spain, and their long journey across the ocean connected them to the Philippines in the Batan Islands. Personal history aside, there are deep connections between the Philippines and Mexico with nearly 60,000 crew members sailing back and forth across the Pacific Ocean, and similarities in folk music in Latin America and the Philippines are one of the ways that this connection of cultures can be acutely experienced. Music and sound surpass language in their ability to connect people.
Playful and experimental scores imagined by the artist and his collaborators link the two bodies of work in this exhibition. The enchanting music echoing through the space is the legendary Guatemalan composer and sound artist Joaquín Orellana’s own imagined rendition of a musical fragment from the classic 1940 Disney Film Fantasia, commissioned by Amorales and Julian Léde in 2012. Playing on the history of early animation involving cut-outs and silhouettes, the haunting screen at the top of the staircase presents Orellana’s Fantasia (2013), registering the shadows of Orellana who performs his fantasia as a shadow play with his útiles sonoros (sound utensils), instruments that are analogue models made to perform as if they where electronic instruments. Each instrument has to be performed by following a score written out of a set of symbols and notations invented by Orellana in an attempt to notate his visions of sound. Orellana’s thinking has uncanny connections to Filipino composer José Maceda, whose centenary is celebrated this year.
Paired with Orellana’s Fantasia, Amorales’ silent film Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2013) resulted from working frame by frame with the original Walt Disney Fantasia animation. Each frame was extracted and reproduced several times through a black and white photocopy machine, diluting the original image. Later, eachphotocopy was manually torn into two pieces, before being digitized again and reordered through a post-production process. The imagery in these two films borders on the edge of horror and fantasy, further linking these works to not only the storyline of Disney’s Fantasia but also to childhood experiences shared by seemingly disparate cultures.
Pushing back the curtain in the space, the light changes and you encounter twenty prints comprising Partituras para Ocarinas (Grupo 2, 2016-2017). Continuing with the ideas of building abstract scores and the liberation found through the immediacy of the photocopy process, these new scores by Amorales bend notions of what sound could and should look like, inspired by ancient wind instruments that link ancient Chinese and Mesoamerican cultures.
Curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt
Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, NSJBI, WE Design
Jam Acuzar, Mica Agregado, Efren Madlangsakay,
Mark Claude Wilson, Nikki Escalone-Tayag, Gerald Bernardo
Carlo Condeno, Lourence Dela Cruz, Ralph Faronilo,
Special Thanks to Marcel Crespo, Manuel Canzana