Pag+mul+mula+an: an Ilokano Place of Planting

Date
2020
Authors
Goldschmidt, Rebecca Maria
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Ferreira, Jose
Chan, Gaye
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Art
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Pag+mul+mula+an is an alternative place of learning and an in-between space - part-school, part-garden, and part domestic sphere - that allows for the dialogic recovery and sharing of ancestral knowledge. It is a place of rest and rejuvenation, learning and unlearning that fuses the methodology of auto-ethnography with participatory art practice. I center my personal experience in reclaiming the Ilokano language while also inviting the viewer into socially-engaged interactions. I begin at the site of self and migrant family history and our position in overlapping histories of resistance to American imperialism and white supremacy. Incorporating aesthetic explorations of this journey via photography, fibers, weaving, and print, my MFA exhibition, Pag+mul+mula+an, brings to light some of the more insidious obstacles of historical racism, assimilation and cultural erasure faced by Filipinos in Hawai'i and the United States. Drawing on notions of aesthetic hybridity based in borderlands theory, this space is an amalgamation of personal memory, stereotype, and natural materials. Viewers lounge on patchwork cushions made of traditional handwoven fabrics mismatched with vintage floral textiles while watching short films about rice. Large weavings of scavenged plant material provide a backdrop for a plant-medicine workshop. Historical images of American-style classrooms in the Philippines remind us of the legacy of institutional education on our minds and bodies, while a self-published book of writings by participating artists and educators features land-based thinking influencing the project. Great care is given not only to the construction of the space itself, but also the social interactions necessary for the work to come together as a whole - elements are borrowed, collectively created, and collaboratively engaged. The entire exhibition puts into practice the most essential focus of my research: where and how collective living can work in unison with the natural world.
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Fine arts, Language, Textile research, Decolonial Education, Filipino-American, Ilokano, Philippines, Plant Fibers, Weaving
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37 pages
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