Tuesday, November 14, 2017
by Mariana Muñoz Gomez
Earlier this past spring, I made my way to Plug In ICA for Patrick Cruz’s artist talk. I skipped Patrick’s gallery walk-through before the talk as it was being given in Taglish (Tagalog and English). Not knowing a word of Tagalog, I had curiously made my way through the event write up in that language, recognizing the affinity between the sounds of some words in Tagalog and in Spanish.
Patrick’s exhibition, Brown Gaze (Titig Kayumanggi), had opened a couple of nights previous. In the gallery, I walked onto the paintings installed on the floor, noticed the stacks of cardboard boxes of food products, and stopped at the videos within the stacks. What looked like cell phone videos of: a puppy lying on a tile floor, cut to footage of a protest march, cut to an insect that looked like a vinagrillo getting burnt, cut to people walking on a bridge, cut to clouds from a plane window… There were also a couple of beach towels on the boxes, and black unintelligible signs and symbols on every enclosing surface around me. I wrote in my notebook: “not overwhelmed but definitely surrounded.”
During his artist talk, Patrick spoke about life and art in the Philippines and in Canada, and about how he addresses colonialism and his personal history in his practice. He spoke about language, kitschy video transitions, and clown school. And then he and I talked some more. What follows is a months-long email conversation with Patrick Cruz.
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