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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ling-Ling-O to Okir: Public Interstice

ARNEL RAMISCAL's performance in the 3rd Tupada Action and Media Art International Action Art event in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Ling-ling-o to Okir, used a well-loved sport close to the masses' heart, basketball, as a means of engagement with the audience. Basketball courts are constructed even in the smallest barangays in the Philippines, providing political mileage and a lucrative source of business, as they are generally unchecked channels of public funds for local government officials. Members of Ramiscal's audience, mostly children, were invited to shoot the ball into the basket, and in return, the artist rewarded them with candies. Those who managed to get the ball in the basket were given bead bracelets handcrafted by Ramiscal, who is also an ethnic jewelry designer and manufacturer who derives inspiration from indigenous designs and body painting patterns to retain the lost heritage of tribal ancestors. His work not only relates the immersion of the Western sport into the lives of the locals, but also reminds them of their indigenous identity. It also investigates the game of chance that led to a tragic stampede early last year.

Ling-ling-o to Okir is a project for TAMA'07 by Arnel Ramiscal presently on display at the Atrium, 4/F Cultural Center of the Philippines and will run until May 20, 2007.

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