Book for weeds
Printed and handbound polytarp sheets, 36 pages 50.8 x 33 cm / 20 x 13 in 2018
Artist-curators Abbey and Emen Batocabe (Para://Site Projects) of group show Yielding Nodes, informed and regularly reminded participating artists that the farm in Silang, Cavite where the exhibition was to take place would likely experience rain and even in rain’s absence: dew.
I wanted to combine a form and material opposite in their susceptibility to being outdoors and getting wet, with books generally found indoors as objects to care for and handle properly vis-à-vis polytarp’s plastic resilience ubiquitous in billboards, store signages, election posters, and reused for such purposes as covers for tables and tricycles. I put together this book to respond to the location’s circumstances, for it to belong in an assigned space. I wanted a book that could be left out in the rain and dew and mud and also found ants and gnats interested in its intrusion.
The images mined from my own pool of photographs were selected for their relation to plants: most were indoor and outdoor snapshots of potted plants, fields of grass, things found in neighborhood bushes, funeral flora, trees tied or cut or layered in beaches and mountains, landscapes and similar environments encountered day-to-day or captured as an ongoing exercise amidst other projects.
That Saturday, I told others about two portraits included: one of my mother, a professor at the UP Institute of Biology specializing in plant molecular genetics, who once walked home from my cousin’s birthday party with a paper flower much larger than her head, and another of Mang Danny, a caretaker at Himlayang Pilipino who tended to my father’s grave for the past 17 years. On Sunday, when we visited for Fathers’ Day, his daughter approached us to say he had passed away the day before, that they needed help with his burial.
Yielding Nodes Group exhibition curated by Abbey and Emen Batocabe Kuna ng Dahon, Silang, Cavite 16-17 June 2018