UNTITLED (CELESTIAL MOTORS)
End Frame Video Art Project 3 and Silverlens 20Square present Untitled (Celestial Motors), a solo exhibition of Maria Taniguchi. Untitled (Celestial Motors) features Taniguchi’s video of the Philippine jeepney, using one from the Celestial Motors factory in San Pablo. Focusing on an unadorned unpainted jeepney of stainless steel shot against a white backdrop, the video bares the jeepney as an object of study. Through simple, crisp and startling takes showing the jeepney stripped into its basic form, the video distances from any specific context and instead acts as framework in accommodating the full weight of this iconic vehicle.
Closely identified with the nation, the jeepney is deeply embedded in Philippine history and culture, though one that cuts as a polarizing symbol. Imprinted as a vestige of war and colonialism, the jeepney is acclaimed by some as a representation of native ingenuity and of popular creative expression; others, however, see it as a nuisance, a contemporary contributor of disorder and chaos. Putting shape into some of these notions of the jeepney are a number of names of its manufacturers—‘Society’, ‘Delicadeza’, ‘Wild Country’ and, of course, ‘Celestial Motors.’ It continues even to individually named jeepneys plying the roads, with labels such as ‘Lion King’, ‘Queen Jessa’, ‘Celebrity’ and ‘First Eagle.’ Though the most commonly used form of public transportation, this ‘King of the Road’ has found its industry spinning in recent years, finding necessary but surprising remedies through remodeling as well as through export. Taniguchi’s appropriately named Untitled (Celestial Motors) highlights this vehicle’s adaptability and, by way of the stark clarity of its visuals, brings to its surface its complex past and complicated present.
Founded in 2006, End Frame Video Art Project is the Philippine video art festival organized by the non-profit organization Visual Pond. For the third edition of the festival, artists stage a solo show presenting new video work in various venues from 2011 to 2012. Curated by Clarissa Chikiamco, the theme of the third edition, ‘Present’, refers to the current project’s focus on the video art practices of selected Philippine contemporary artists. It includes presentations by Tad Ermitaño, Manny Montelibano, Claro Ramirez, Kiri Dalena, Kaloy Olavides, Maria Taniguchi and Yason Banal.