WASAK 2008
Exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
with
Life’s A Beach 2003
by Norberto Roldan
and
WASAK. NOTES ON
Lourd de Veyra
This installation is a conversation between artists Norberto Roldan (Manila) and Johanna Poethig (Oakland). Their exchange was triggered by the manifesto “WASAK. NOTES ON,” by Lourd de Veyra, a spoken word artist and musician in Manila. Visitors are welcome to take copies of this manifesto from the center pedestal.
Roldan’s 2 banners are excerpted from a larger body of work, some of which is also being shown concurrently in his retrospective in Manila. The binaries and contradictions set up in the opposing banners-feminine/passive/host country, and masculine/militaristic/occupying force, pushes subtly back against some of the mythologies of benign American governance and war heroism in the Philippines, as often exemplified by General Douglas MacArthur.
The complex meaning of the word “Wasak” is somewhat indirect, and best elicited by reading the manifesto itself. Poethig’s paintings use excerpts from the actual text as well as “taglish” and “englog” sources and an album title by Lourd De Veyra, “Tanginamo Andamin Nagugutom sa Mundo Fashionista Ka Parin” (“Mother—ker, people are starving and you are still a fashionista”). This work examines the post-colonial ironies of the Philippines, its relationship to the US layered in images, icons and the transmutations of language.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts   2008
Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition
The Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5, guest-curated by Jenifer Wofford is a collaborative project that builds international bridges between the Bay Area and other cities on the globe through a process of exchange and dialog. Taking the historic Acapulco-Manila galleon route as a metaphor of origin, the Galleon Trade exhibitions seek to create new routes of cultural exchange along old routes of commerce and trade. Galleon Trade I brought work by twelve California artists to three galleries in Metro Manila, Philippines in summer 2007. Galleon Trade: Bay Area Now 5 Edition addresses the deeply transnational ties between the Bay Area and the Philippines by pairing artists from both places. It features work by local artists Jaime Cortez, Megan Wilson, Johanna Poethig, Gina Osterloh and Christine Wong Yap, all of whom went to Manila with the project in 2007, and met many local artists. Their work is in conversation with the work of five artists from Manila: Poklong Anading, Norberto Roldan, Maria Taniguchi, Yason Banal, and MM Yu.
Galleon Trade is entirely about reciprocity and gathering momentum to create a viable new map that other grass-roots international arts alliances and exchanges can trace.