AMERICAN SWEET BY HANNAH PETTYJOHN
A little more than two years ago, half- American Hannah Pettyjohn spent time in Texas to reconnect with her roots. While there, she worked at a geotechnical engineering lab, lived in a white house that looked exactly like all the other houses in the neighborhood, got to know her father’s family, and read David Foster Wallace.
In this exhibit, Hannah
channels the isolation she felt as a temporary transplant into middle America. She portrays her subjects donning surgical masks similar to those she herself had to wear at her job, and then declines to call them by their names. She refers to them simply by their initials. The masks, because of what remains concealed, create barriers that discourage any chances of real intimacy or empathy between us, the viewers, and these nameless subjects. They remain distant and aloof from us, just as they remained virtual strangers to Hannah, and she to them.
Around the exhibit, Hannah has scattered cast plaster replicas of the houses in her Dallas neighborhood, each one mirror images of each other. She recreates the tedium and repetition so typical of a soulless suburban panorama. She even records landscape from behind car windows, once again imposing a gulf, an invisible gap that keeps her, and us, at a distance.
American Sweet by Hannah Pettyjohn can be viewed from 6 May to 6 June at SLab, 2f YMC Bldg., 2320 Chino Roces Ave. Extension, Makati City. Ph: (632)816-0044 or visit www.slab.silverlensphoto.com
Here comes a show so aptly titled for the dimensions of both the pieces on display and the size of the gallery. Mag:net’s branch at The Columns in Ayala Avenue barely holds ten people at once in its narrow expanse, yet has somehow
managed to host some pretty interesting shows. This one, conceptualized by husband and wife, artists Yasmin and Mariano Ching, fits the venue perfectly. They wanted to showcase deliberately minute works evident for their handcrafted quality. All nine artists deliver delightful miniature extensions of past bodies of work. I love Mac Valdezco’s shoes from clingwrap, her current medium of choice. Yasmin Ching’s piece continues her experiments with producing soft sculpture from yarns she crochets herself, first seen in her piece for the Surrounded By Water group show at Blanc Compound. Other standouts for me include Ikoy Riccio’s sheep sculpture from paper clips and Mike Munoz’s lightbox.
I hate to resort to the cliche small but terrible, but really, that’s what this show is all about: small works that have been made so well that they can give some of the humongous wall-bound stuff currently on view in other galleries a run for their money (and that’s another cliche!).
Shoebox Dioramas, group show of Bea Camacho, Eugene Jarque, Hitoshi Kanamura, Ikoy Riccio, Jordin Isip, Mac Valdezco, Mariano Ching, Mike Munoz, Yasmin Sison, is up from 6 May to 1 June at Mag:net at The Columns in Ayala Avenue. Ph (632)929-3191 or visit www.magnetgalleries.com