SSAF Installation Art Grant 2019 Lecture

Returning (to) the Image, Before Writing (into) Art | Lecture by Patrick D. Flores

6 April 2019 | New Delhi


This talk reflects on the tasks of art history at a time when the discipline intensely questions its own nature and its “normative commitments” to time and context. In response to this reflexive moment, the delay in the naming of art in the production of history may be an instructive proposition. Such delay may introduce the “image” and the “ornament” in an ensemble of terms rather than in the singularity of an object or a commodity-form that is ultimately interpellated as art. This theorization of the image further leads to an elaboration of the project of “making” and its political effect in the capture of “life” and its remains, and the evocation of “death” in the current Philippine narcopolitical milieu. Finally, the revisitation and re-mediation of image might offer a technique to release current forms such as the installative from the burdens, demands, and nominations of “contemporary art” and loop it to earlier oralities and, perhaps, future animisms.


Patrick D. Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, which he chaired from 1997 to 2003, and Curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila. He was one of the curators of Under Construction: New Dimensions in Asian Art in 2000 and the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008. He was a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and an Asian Public Intellectuals Fellow in 2004. Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He was a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council (2010) and a member of the Advisory Board of the exhibition The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989 (2011) organized by the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and member of the Guggenheim Museum’s Asian Art Council (2011 and 2014). He co-edited the Southeast Asian issue with Joan Kee for Third Text (2011). He convened in 2013 on behalf of the Clark Institute and the Department of Art Studies of the University of the Philippines the conference “Histories of Art History in Southeast Asia” in Manila. He was a Guest Scholar of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles in 2014. He curated an exhibition of contemporary art from Southeast Asia and Southeast Europe titled South by Southeast and the Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. He has been appointed the Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2019.