Chicago based Filipinx artist, Lorén Navidad Ibach creates video utopia’s that reimagine and redefine identities. Having grown up in San Bernardino, California as a descendant from the Filipinx diaspora community, she sheds light on the diaspora of the Philippines and displacement through a modern and futuristic lens. By challenging traditional ideals of gender and race through imagery, custom made structural garments, ritual and movement, she presents her own world to the viewer.
After spending time in the Philippines to learn the practice of garments and textiles, and being on the curatorial team for the Philippines collection at the Chicago Field Museum, much of her work is derived from her rich history and extensive research. Through vibrant imagery, colors, text and collage like frames, in her video, Island of Thought: Pilipinx Purgatory, Ibach pieces together a tableaux of images for the viewer, a place where Filipinx people can “upload themselves indefinitely,” and be their fiercely free and fluid selves in contest of their native land.
She juxtaposes western ideals through quick paced images, dance and music, appearing much like a moving selfie, with tradition and ritual in the latter half of the video, displayed through darkness, chanting and the silhouette of a woman dancing before the light of the moon looking to the heavens. She outlines her vision in her artist statement, the video presenting the time and space of what happens in purgatory when people are faced with their underlying truths.
When I am with my mother, I am expected to wait. I am expected to exhibit patience. When I’m with another, I am expected to breathe in silence while I give them the time to speak. Our “kapwa” mentality of the shared inner self, reflects in our gathering of large groups and spending many minutes and hours waiting on other people. In Filipino Time, what happens before we are considered ‘late’ to our Western thinkers? Do our Filipinx bodies ‘wait’ on the clock, or do they just float from moment to moment?
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