In this episode of Artists Talk, Jed Gregorio speaks to Alfred Marasigan about Marasigan’s recent body of work Insurrection, shown at Altro Mondo.
Watch the video below.
Alfred Marasigan on Filipino identity and studying abroad: “I want to contribute alternative narratives to what we have. That’s what I liked about studying abroad, that somehow you can make that yourself. They don’t know everything about the Philippines, so it’s also a chance for you to reimagine who you could be if you’re not tied down to national or historical trauma.”
On the role of the artist: “I think my role as an artist is to make people ask better questions. Because the world is burning! And all traditional ways of thinking, they don’t seem to work. And we need ways to rethink. The most earnest questions shift the ground beneath you.”
On the open-endedness of the artistic inquiry: “It’s an experiment. If your goals in the making of art are so clear, it would seem that you’re too fixed; you’re only producing work, and not really making work. If it’s all planned out, what chances are there for people to enter, for spontaneity to enter?”
Read more about Insurrection below.
“Beginning in Germany’s natural history museums, going through Norway’s stark landscapes, and grounded simultaneously in the Philippines and online, Alfred Marasigan’s project revolves around the duhol matapang, one of only two freshwater sea snake species in the world found only in Taal caldera’s lake.
“Shaped by the volcano’s strongest eruption in 1754, classified by colonial powers in the 19th century, and ultimately encountered by the artist in the anachronistic virtual realm, a particular Taal sea snake specimen’s story has become intertwined with Marasigan’s as well.
“Initially in the form of email art and site-specific performance, Insurrection is the first gallery incarnation of Marasigan’s Taal sea snake project. As a homecoming show, it tackles his rekindled relationships with art and his newfound worldviews from studying in the arctic.
“Inspired by Norwegian slow tv, Marasigan employs livestreaming as a medium to reimagine our ties with time, space, imagery, and objecthood. How can we conjure narratives of history, gender, and self by convoluting time? Can art as storytelling, as alchemy, and as journey tame the wild present?” —Altro Mondo