Endless Summer by Patricia Perez Eustaquio (left), Untitled by Nicole Coson. Images courtesy of the artist and Silverlens.
Culture Art

While galleries remain closed, Silverlens opens a show geared to bring art closer to the viewer

By situating the artworks from the places they were created, the gallery, in its first online exhibit, proposes the experience of viewing them will be a tad more intimate. By JAM PASCUAL 
ANCX | Jun 02 2020

The name for the exhibition came from texts from Nicole Coson, according to Silverlens co-founder Isa Lorenzo. “Anticipating the day” was a phrase she used about the possibility of going back to her studio. “But I felt like... it’s a much larger idea, because we are all waiting for what that day is,” Lorenzo says. “We don’t know what that day is. Is it the day when the vaccine is now part of our solution? Is it the day when we can eat in a restaurant? Or no longer have to wear a mask? It’s that. But at the same time, [we’re] bringing it together with these finished artworks, which are giving you the idea that y’know what? We anticipate whatever, but at the same time, it still goes on.”

Flux 02 by Frank Callaghan

As we enter GCQ and certain restrictions lift to some degree, galleries remain closed, but art still persists. In a way “Anticipating the Day” is the manifestation of this burning persistence. It is Silverlens’s first online show, opening June 2 through a link that Silverlens will release on the day. It features a whopping 21 artists under the gallery’s management.

Frank Callaghan at work.

“Anticipating the Day” showcases the works of its featured artists in situ, or on-site, installed in the artists’ studios. This is one level by way the online show distinguishes itself from physical exhibits. When an artwork is showcased in a gallery (in the case of Silverlens, a white box), there is a degree of remove from the physical and material conditions in which the artist conceived the artwork. “Once [the artwork] enters [the gallery], it loses a dimensionality that belonged in the studio. It becomes something else,” Lorenzo says. Displaying these artworks on-site, digitally, ironically produces a sense of humanness, of authenticity. “What we’re showing is the works in their very, very raw, prime form. So it’s still part of the artist’s environment.”

Untitled by Nicole Coson

In a way, this curative gesture speaks to our new, pandemic-impacted paradigm of communication—we keep in touch with the people in our lives through video call services and, through that, steal glances at their home lives. “The last three months, or the last two months, we’ve really all been living on a digital platform. So the intimacy of you and your thoughts with whatever screen you’re looking at, we really wanted to bring people into that kind of intimacy with the artists.” “Anticipating the Day” offers the viewer a kind of intimacy by letting us into an artist’s space. Here is where the paint-soaked brush touched easel, and here is the art that came out of it.

Nicole Coson in her studio.

The easy thing to do would be to just upload a catalog and call it a day, but this exhibition also features photographs that the artists took of themselves in their studios, and personal accounts and artist’s statements. And there’s a whole lot of them. Enter the exhibition and you will see before you 103 pages worth of art. 85 of those are pictures—paintings and photographs and other media. The others are video, which is a form that lends itself well to the digital. And even though sculpture is, for Lorenzo, a form best engaged with through physical presence, the show has sculpture as well, by artist Patricia Eustaquio.

Endless Summer by Patricia Perez Eustaquio

It bears mentioning that exploring the online possibilities of art display is something that Silverlens has tried doing before. The exhibition itself is a full-bodied expression of what the gallery has been doing over lockdown with their #athomewith series on social media. To be frank, everything’s on the internet now, and the art world at large knows this.

Patricia Perez Eustaquio in her studio.

“We had been planning to do this for a long time,” says Lorenzo. “We had some efforts last year trying to do online shows using Instagram stories, but it never really took off, because there was no need.” But as the meme goes, modern problems require modern solutions, and an unprecedented pandemic compelled Silverlens to do something new.

Ryan Villamael's desk and one of his latest works for the Silverlens show.

Silverlens has been closed since the 14th of March and there are, understandably, no plans to physically reopen. As such, we can expect the gallery to hold more online, in situ shows down the pipeline. These are projects to look forward to, in a time of uncertainty and anxious waiting.

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Ryan Villamael

 

‘Anticipating the Day’ is scheduled to go live on June 2, 11:30AM, until June 20. You can access the exhibition through a link that Silverlens will release on its website, its social media channels and newsletter on the day. The gallery will be opening their on-site shows on June 25 with two solo exhibitions featuring the works of Pow Martinez and Corinne de San Jose. You can visit the Silverlens website and subscribe to its newsletter here.

Images courtesy of the artists and Silverlens.