Ayala Museum, in partnership with Silverlens Galleries and Art Fair Philippines, re-launches OpenSpace with I Can’t Tell You What I Don’t Know, Only That I Don’t Know — a large-scale installation by media artist James Clar in collaboration with the award-winning giant parol team from Santa Lucia in San Fernando, Pampanga.
The exhibition is presented under Ayala Museum’s outdoor exhibition program called OpenSpace, which provides a public space for dialogue and interaction with contemporary art and artists. Previous exhibitors include Toym Imao, Leeroy New, Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, Plet Bolipata, Lilianna Manahan, Mark Justiniani, Allison Wong David, and Alwin Reamillo. Adding to this esteemed line-up is James Clar, a Filipino-American visual artist whose work explores the conceptual and narrative potential of light and technology. This exhibition is also presented under Art Fair Philippines’ Ten Days of Art, which is a series of public art exhibitions presented during the week of the fair.
I Can’t Tell You What I Don’t Know, Only That I Don’t Know by James Clar visualizes the process of understanding language and culture. The cylinders, which trigger the lights on the massive 20-foot diameter parol, is wrapped with a written version of Lupang Hinirang that was spoken to James while in New York on the phone by Corinne De San Jose (a locally born artist). James, a diaspora Filipino who in the last year moved to the Philippines, wrote down what he interpreted as the language. This letter, with notes and errors, was then sent to the curators of Ayala Museum who amended it to the correct version.
The installation becomes like a large brain whose gears can be seen as the rotating cylinders in the giant parol. The processing of the information animates the lights like neurons firing in the brain. The work is about understanding our culture, language, and history of the Philippines. It is a continual process, whether you’re native or foreign born, and cultural workers (artists, gallerists, curators, collectors, and institutions) all have a role in the perception of who we are.
I Can’t Tell You What I Don’t Know, Only That I Don’t Know by James Clar will be free to view from March 25 – April 1, 2022 in Ayala Museum’s OpenSpace, with the lighting performances happening on March 25, 26, 27, 31 and April 1 running every half hour from 6:00PM-8:15PM.