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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kiri Lluch Dalena's Found Figures @ Mag:net Gallery

"Found Figures"
by Kiri Lluch Dalena
Mag:net Gallery, Quezon City
May 22, 2007 to June 12, 2007

Kiri Lluch Dalena literally found the time to sculpt, a whole year of it, mainly unplanned, having come out of a 10-year stretch of almost exclusively doing documentary film making.

As a self-taught terra cotta sculptress, Kiri Lluch Dalena was literally steeped in image-making from early on, having grown up amidst the bodies of work of parents Julie Lluch and Danilo Dalena and siblings, Aba and Sari. Yet it was very much as a filmmaker among other kindred souls within the collective Southern Tagalog Exposure, that Kiri Lluch Dalena came into her own.

As a human rights advocate committed to ST Exposure’s self-imposed task of capturing what would’ve been dismissed as propagandist tales of summary executions and involuntary disappearances, hers was an eye, mind and hand keen on making the unpalatable visible.

Work for ST Exposure meant taking extended forays into remote areas of the country where fact-finding intrinsically called for cultivating deep trust and time-intensive relations. The output was always gritty and non-slick, a guerilla amalgam infused with the less prominent and un-hip aspects of indie film making, Shooting was often on the run, at times clandestine, and under threat, the work often calling for retrieving, and unearth-ing the deliberately lost or hidden.

Expectedly, Kiri Lluch Dalena’s works for this first solo exhibition, Found Figures come with unveiled references to her human rights advocacies, even as Kiri relates infusing the free-formed figures with political content was not pre-meditated. Yet undeniably, Found Figures comes inflected with growing international criticism of Filipino government non-chalance over the rising number of killings and abductions among journalists, students, farmers, workers, church and NGO advocates, all brashly undertaken under Arroyo’s watch. Closer to home, ST Exposure is still smarting from having lost three cameras to military agents just last year (2006). Hence the hackneyed but upturned allusion to hear-speak-see no evil in this slew of three-dimensional and animated figures resting on fire bricks that double up as metaphors for the transformative violence of fire and pitting of elements.

Matters personally came to a head for Kiri Lluch Dalena in 2005 given that alarming incidents were already being reported in urbanized areas such as Calamba, whereas such episodes were previously relegated to more remote Southern Luzon locations like Mindoro and Quezon. More poignantly, a major threshold came with the gunning down of fellow translator, and Bayan Muna member Noli Capulong with whom Dalena had worked with on more than one occasion.

For more details on Kiri Lluch Dalena's Found Figures @ Mag:net Gallery, please call Genevieve at 410-0995 or email:

Kiri Lluch Dalena's Found Figures @ Mag:net Gallery runs from May 22, 2007 to June 12, 2007.

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