To conceptualize this show, Goldie Poblador turned to the writings of Jesuit paleontologist and philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Throughout his life, Teilhard de Chardin courted controversy as he tried to bridge the gap between his scientific ruminations with the teachings of the Church. He posits that all matter undergoes evolution, and one day all will be integrated into one consciousness. Goldie attempts to capture this integrated consciousness by reducing living organisms to their essences, their souls. How does one transform a soul into a tangible object we viewers
can visualize? Goldie returns to glass, a medium she works very comfortably with, to— literally— crystallize each of the souls of her living organisms. As a nod to Teilhard de Chardin’s work as a scientist, she mounts her essences/souls inside glass boxes, mimicking specimens in a natural history museum.
Previously, Goldie captured essences of a different sort. For her senior thesis project in UP, she mixed liquid scents of
the city: squalor, pollution, the aroma of coffee. She contained them in glass bottles that she inflated herself. Her installation resembled a department store’s perfume counter. Goldie received critical acclaim for this piece. She made it to the Shortlist of the 2009 Ateneo Art Awards, and the Singapore Art Museum asked her to reprise a portion of it for their exhibit of Filipino art last November.
In this show, The Within, Goldie plays to her strengths and delivers another winner. Her organisms, made with glass she again has blown herself, are delicate, fragile, wispy, yet full of detail—transparent facsimiles of the real things, exactly as souls should be. She has insects,
spiders, jellyfish, plankton, fishbones, and coral, all true to size. Goldie covered the gallery’s walls with cut fabric that I thought resembled scales. She says that she had meant to fill the walls with feathers, but she could not gather enough of them. No matter, the fabric does a good job of providing a textured backdrop to her glass specimen boxes.
Goldie partially enclosed the rear of the gallery to house her best piece. How does one capture the human soul? With clear glass balls attached to steel rods as she does with Immensity. Here is a human reduced to its barest form, even its visage has been stripped away, clasped before it by hands detached from its main body. Yet something of its essence remains. Pin lights inserted amidst the life-sized form give off an ethereal glow, emitting the presence of some form of life within.
The Within runs from 3 November to 3 December 2010 at the 4th Floor, The Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, 119 LP Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City. Phone (632) 828-4774 or visit http://www.artcabinetphilippines.com or visit http://www.picassomakati.com