MAIN SPACE EXHIBITION/
Cris Mora, Book Challenge, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.
The New New Society: Ang Bagong Bagong Lipunan
September 16 – October 29, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, September 16th, 7PM - 9PM
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Sadly, OFWs are leaving for the same reasons today as the previous generations did decades earlier. Those that left during the Marcos dictatorship of the seventies and eighties have seen the cycle of corruption, poverty and state sponsored violence repeat itself through successive administrations. The process has come full circle with the election of Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator, as the 17th President of the Philippines in 2022. Thirty-six years after his father was ousted from power, the younger Marcos threatens to correct the wrongs of the history books that “are teaching the children lies.”
This exhibition is an exploration of the fragility of history and the dangers that come when it is made malleable. Through video, photography and installation, Mora investigates how the situation got to this point and what it may mean for the future of the Philippines, as well as the impact on those who have been forced to leave.
Cris Mora, Mirror Check (detail), 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.
(The New New Society)
Exhibition Essay by Marc Chavez
In Ang Bagong Bagong Lipunan (The New New Society), Cris Mora looks at how these stories are told, rewritten, forgotten, or discarded. Mora’s art and practice has been one of observation; an investigation of history uncovering the scale of power structures that underpin political, economic, and social issues in the Philippines. He conducts a census of who and what has been forgotten and we are given the role of historian and witness, navigating both the loss and preservation of collective memory.
The Marcos dictatorship and martial law were monumental events in Philippine history, a period that changed many lives. It shaped the futures of ordinary people, families, activists, journalists, and artists, and our responsibility today is to remember these stories refracted through the lens of history.
In light of the “resurrection of the country’s most divisive political dynasty,” Mora’s exhibition explores the malleability and fragility of historical narrative by acts of censorship and disinformation. Through five new art works, Mora looks at the erasure and revision of history by those in power and the impact it has had on the Philippines. By asking us to confront those attempting to rewrite Filipino history, Mora challenges us to take our power back, to put into action our unwavering belief in the future of the Philippines as a democratic country and to tell a new story.
One such reform was the 1974 Labor Code – the Marcos administration institutionalized cheap labor export creating measures that facilitated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). Today you will find Filipinos working in every industry in countries like Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. Whether they leave as OFWs or as immigrants, the desire to leave the Philippines is driven by the notion that better opportunities only exist outside of the country. Mora’s own parents left for Canada in 1989 in search of a more secure future. Separated from their families for years, the Filipino diaspora supports millions of people back in the Philippines. Their remittances accounted for nearly 10 percent of the GDP of the Philippine economy in 2019. In 2021, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that cash remittances rose to $31 billion. This export of labor was a solution meant to improve the country’s employment and economic prospects, but in reality the unsustainable policy robs the Philippines’ of one of its most valuable resources – its people.
There are claims that Marcos’ administration was a so-called “Golden Age” for the Philippines, however data examined by the Martial Law Museum tells a different story. The realities of martial law not only saw increased poverty, decreasing wages, deforestation, and massive international debt, but it also meant silencing the free press, imprisonment of political adversaries, and suspension of the democratic process.
Now in 2022, disillusioned by the failure of successive administrations to tackle the legacies of the Marcos dictatorship like rampant poverty and political corruption, Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator, has been elected with a majority of votes as the 17th President of the Philippines.
中文翻译 Chinese Translation...
尼日利亞小說家Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie談到了 "單一故事的危險 "以及講述這個故事的力量，使其成為一個民族或國家的最終故事。關於菲律賓，沒有單一的故事--沒有一個關於Marcos獨裁統治或戒嚴的故事就能講述清楚。相反，有許多故事被講述，也有許多故事被抹去。
在新的新社會（Ang Bagong Bagong Lipunan）中，Cris Mora著眼於這些故事是如何被講述、改寫、遺忘或丟棄的。莫拉的藝術和實踐是一種觀察；對歷史的調查，揭示了支撐菲律賓政治、經濟和社會問題的權力結構的規模。他對被遺忘的人和事進行了普查，我們被賦予了歷史學家和見證者的角色，在集體記憶的喪失和保存中遊走。
1974 年，Ferdinand Marcos設想在菲律賓建立一個新社會，即「Bagong Lipunan」，他將利用戒嚴法賦予他的特殊權力，為國家帶來一個改革的時代。
其中一項改革是 1974 年的《勞動法》——Marcos政府將廉價勞動力出口製度化，創造了便利海外菲律賓工人 (OFW) 的措施。今天，您會發現菲律賓人在加拿大、美國和英國等國家的各個行業工作。無論他們以海外勞工 還是移民身份離開，離開菲律賓的願望都是由這樣一種觀念驅動的，即更好的機會只有在國外存在。Mora自己的父母於 1989 年前往加拿大尋找更安全的未來。多年與家人分離的菲律賓僑民支持著數百萬人在菲律賓的生活。 2019 年，僑民的匯款占菲律賓經濟 GDP 的近 10%。2021 年，菲律賓中央銀行的數據顯示，現金匯款增至 310 億美元。這種勞動力輸出是一種旨在改善該國就業和經濟前景的解決方案，但實際上這種不可持續的政策剝奪了菲律賓最寶貴的資源之一——人民。
現在，在2022年，由於歷屆政府未能解決馬科斯獨裁統治的遺留問題，如猖獗的貧困和政治腐敗，已故獨裁者的兒子Ferdinand「 Bong Bong」 Marcos Jr. 以多數票當選為菲律賓第17任總統。
Cris Mora 是菲律賓裔加拿大藝術家和文化工作者。 他於 1984 年出生於馬尼拉，四歲時移居多倫多。 Mora 在加拿大西安大略大學學習視覺藝術和經濟學。 他跨學科和媒體工作，探索政治、移民和身份之間的關係。 除了藝術實踐，Mora還是一位經驗豐富的文化工作者。 他曾在北美、歐洲和亞洲擔任藝術行政人員。 他目前是不列顛哥倫比亞省薩里市的公共藝術協調員。 Mora曾在加拿大、新加坡和菲律賓展出。