Arts & Culture

Explore: This Makati Gallery at the End of a Tiny Alley Focuses on Film and Pop Culture

Archivo 1984 adds a new dimension to the art scene with a screening program devoted to Filipino films.
IMAGE WILLIAM ONG
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Archivo 1984 is at the far end of a tiny alley called Pasilyo 18, the third in a trio of galleries that invite viewers to explore various artistic expressions. Archivo 1984 adds a new dimension to the scene with a strong focus on secondary market collectibles along with a screening program devoted to Filipino film.

“Our mission is to support the preservation of Philippine artworks and historical memorabilia,” explains the gallery’s manager, Mark Patiag. Archivo’s screenings at its previous location were well-attended, and will resume once the projector and giant screen are installed at its new address.


At the time of Town&Country’s photo shoot, Robert Langenegger’s “In Loving Memoriam,” a survey of the artist’s works, was on show. “Marti (Dr. Juan Martin Magsanoc, the gallery’s director) archives film and pop culture memorabilia. Going back to the past is prevalent in the way he chooses works for our exhibitions,” Patiag says. He also points out the gallery’s inclination toward solo shows that draw strong focus on just one artist at a time.


As expected, Langenegger’s exhibition didn’t have new pieces. Drawings from his childhood and his first painting as an art student hung alongside works gathered from past shows. It might not have excited the art scene’s regular collectors who are always on the lookout for something new, but “In Memoriam” gave the viewer the opportunity to examine Langenegger’s trajectory to gain a deeper understanding of his practice.

Despite what Patiag described as the “grim and violent imagery of his work,” Archivo’s manager regards Langenegger as a good storyteller. “There's a very interesting point of view in his narratives dealing with power struggle, desire, and morality that his images confront us with. This makes most of the viewers uncomfortable—and that's usually an indication why these have to be discussed or reckoned with,” Patiag continued.

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Genitalia and gore, deemed by some as shock value gimmickry, abound in Langenegger’s works; a viewer may either flee in disgust or linger to uncover the artist’s truths. If you stay a little longer, the paintings and drawings will surprise you with the artist’s dark humor. And if you’re curious enough, you just might uncover the artist’s soul. Pasillo 18, La Fuerza Compound, 2241 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati; archivo1984.com

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