Inkjet prints on paper, rocks
27.9 x 21.6 x 10.8 cm / 11 x 8.5 x 4.6 in
Pool (2016-2018) is a translation of my accumulated analog black and white photographs into a thick, grayscale stack of cheap inkjet prints on plain office paper, installed as a stump of a non-existent column on the corner edge of an abandoned structure at Makiling Botanic Gardens, set in place by a sheet of volcanic rocks found on-site, exposed to heat, rain, and dew, a ream of images simultaneously exposed and out of sight.
I draw from this pool of photographs for material in other work such as in videos, zines, and installations but do not present them in/as themselves, sometimes reusing the same images across different projects and media. Placed in this environment, I imagined the leaves sticking to each other and the images eventually lost, (trans)forming (into) a black brick, a dead, new object.
“Instituted in 1963 in Los Baños, Laguna through the Republic Act 3523 and launched to the general public in 1965, the Makiling Botanic Gardens is a 300-hectare natural forest reserve on the northeastern slope of Mt. Makiling that possesses enormous biological diversity and genetic resources, being home to a variety of tropical flora and fauna, both indigenous and exotic. The MBG is a natural museum containing living collections of many plants endemic to the archipelago, with more than 50% of the species present in the Philippines. The instatement of the national botanic garden and the curation of local natural environment and endemic life forms conveniently fit in the authoritarian scheme of the Marcoses to fabricate our so-called deep structures, and other than being a place for learning and source of pride in our indigenous natural wealth, the MBG also became a picturesque backdrop for and welcome site of bonding and recreation of the 'happy' and 'content' Filipino family of the New Society. Now past its heyday, the deteriorating facility houses remnants of those ‘glory’ days. Little examined save for research and studies in the fields of the life sciences, the national botanic garden is a remanent site of indices—both natural and artificial—to the overdeterminations that have accumulated over the decades, from its conception in 1910 by the American colonial government down to the present.” (Nomina Nuda)