The University of The Philippines’ Bulwagan ng Dangal, or University Heritage Museum, hosts Jose Tence Ruiz’s installation LangueLounge: Forgetory throughout the month, in partnership with Artinformal. Created initially for this year’s Art Fair Philippines, the expansive, thought-provoking installation continues to attract a curious audience; it became the centerpiece of “Hudyat,” an exhibit recently held at the Far Eastern University to protest the spate of alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.
The current show at Bulwagan ng Dangal’sAtelyergallery is billed as a new iteration of the installation, with an added focus on what has become known as “fake news.” We live in the so-called information age, but separating fact from fiction is becoming harder than ever. All the prophets of fake news have to do these days is shout louder—or maybe tweet more ridiculous things—than everyone else. LangueLounge: Forgetory is notable for its juxtaposition of symbols for luxury and death; from a distance one notices the plush red velvet enveloping multiple high-backed chairs, symbolic of opulence and power.
Have a closer look, and a darker truth is revealed—the furniture pieces are actually electric chairs, the unmistakable symbol of death. The gallery notes suggest that the installation calls for “closer scrutiny on what is seen and heard, an encouragement to move out of places of comfort, conformity, and complacency. To be brave, even a minute longer.” Runs until July 31, Southwing Basement, Main Library (Gonzalez Hall), G. Apacible corner Roxas Street, University of the Philippines, Quezon City; 981 8500 local 2874 or 2876; [email protected]
This story was originally published in the July 2017 issue of Town&Country.