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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear Sweet Filthy World by Patricia Eustaquio

Dear Sweet Filthy World by Patricia Eustaquio
March 17, 2010, Wednesday
6-9 pm

Patricia Eustaquio, continues her exploration of memory with Dear Sweet Filthy World, bridging Elvis Costello's song of the same name with oil paintings, cardboard sculptures, and boats cut from felt and cast in epoxy resin. Through these objects, Eustaquio expresses memory as an idea, and memory as she made it.

Eustaquio describes memory as a puzzle that must be broken down to be put back together again; it is ideas taken from our surroundings that "become floating individual thoughts that we access and take separately" to make a whole. Dear Sweet Filthy World is Eustaquio's ode to this conceptual process, so vulnerable and relative, and yet at the same time, it is her narrative "to convey the irony of our feeling towards reality, the realities in life, the world."

Taking her cue from the song, Eustaquio composes the show as a letter, allowing sentimentality and nostalgia to play a part. Understanding how one's recreation of the past is built on fragments, Eustaquio allows her own memory to express itself, however limited and isolated it may be. As a subtext to Dear Sweet Filthy World, Eustaquio writes an actual letter, where she takes on the persona of someone coming to grips with a terrible event she has not experienced. This mirrors her memory of the Typhoon Ondoy tragedy. Watching from Delft, where she was completing her art residency, Eustaquio's memory, time and space interfering, had gaps to be filled.

In doing so, Eustaquio's art and language took a turn towards reaction. Dear Sweet Filthy World accuses the world, and questions the sweet and the filthy in it. Eustaquio wonders: "is the world sweet because of nature, and filthy because of man; is it vice versa; or is it either-or?" However personal, Dear Sweet Filthy World is also a set of "puzzles that complete themselves in the viewer's mind". Taking various forms and meanings, Eustaquio's work allows us all to voice our feelings to a world where man struggles to shape memory, and fights to make sense of the ironies of life.

As in her previous show, Death to the Major,Viva Minor, Eustaquio allows us to question "the beautiful and grotesque, lifting the veil and revealing the void that waits underneath". *

Patricia Eustaquio was awarded the CCP Thirteen Artists Award and the Ateneo Art Award in 2009, and will be part of the Art Omi Residency in New York in June.

*From Cross my heart and hope to die by Donna Miranda in Patricia Eustaquio's catalogue (Silverlens Gallery)

Words: Bea Davila, Image: Patricia Eustaquio, Dear Sweet Filthy World II, 2010

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