The 14-year-old aspiring curator is mounting his first exhibit on May 5, 2018 at HUB | Make Lab in Escolta Street, Manila.
“I” aims to humanize queer identity, and address the underrepresentation and dehumanization of the LGBTQ+ community in mass media.
“I feel a lot of the frustration and angst among LGBTQ+ youth stems from a lack of queer representation in mass media,” Marco remarks, “and even when queer identity is considered, we’re too often caricatured and politicized in the process. I wanted to say something about it, and to weigh in on the issue.”
Marco is quick to add that he is not approaching this issue as an authority—because he isn’t—but as a member of this young generation deluged with media, information, expectations, and sometimes contradicting input about what queer identity is. “What we’re faced with leaves us with more issues, both internally and externally,” he says. “And this inevitably affects how we relate to ourselves and to other people. I come from a personal perspective that may not be broad because of my age, but I feel this conversation has to start.”
Marco credits his Projects/Projects Management class at Blended Learning Center-Manila, a center for homeschoolers, unschoolers and other progressively-educated children who thrive better in non-traditional environments, for the inspiration.
For guidance, he consulted Marika Constantino, artist, curator, and Executive Director of 98B COLLABoratory (98B).
With her help, Marco assembled his final roster of artists, a diverse group with different interests: Ellie Fung, a 23-year-old photographer from Brookyln; Josizl, a 19-year-old animation student from Sydney; Jose Tong/AI Hoseki, an architect, visual artist and drag queen; Miguel Lope Inumerable, who uses data science to create art; Gabriel Villegas, visual artist, café owner, and neighborhood instigator; retired photojournalist Jose Enrique Soriano; and Marco’s twin brother, Mateo Llanes, who works with pen and ink.
“I” is on exhibit for a month at the Ground Floor, First United Building, 413 Escolta Street, Manila. For inquiries, please email [email protected] or visit facebook.com/blendedlearningcentermanila/ or blendedlearningcenterph.com