Solo Art Show of
On Tuesday February 18, 2014
at 1335 A. Mabini St. Ermita Manila
Souvenirs are primarily objects that a person keeps to remind of a place that person has been to, or an event that person has experienced in the past. A souvenir carries with it a particular identity brought about by the culture surrounding it. Layers of meaning are placed further as one encounters a souvenir, attaching associations based on several factors such as personal, historical and political backgrounds. Under these circumstances a souvenir then becomes more than just a simple of token of remembrance. This occurrence is what Mark Salvatus invites the viewers to engage with through his exhibition “Several Souvenirs.”
Mark takes his cues from both traditional and contemporary sources of souvenirs, tangible and experiential. Using different media such as photographs, collages, video installations, Mark bids us to observe, comment, and even question the memories, means, and fostered identities preserved and propagated by certain sets of lenses. In his series of collages entitled “New Society,” Mark places two images alongside each other: one image shows Filipino culture from coffee table books, and the other shows film stills and movie posters of a foreign actress who was hired to take the photos for the books. The works make the audience aware of the subtle similarities between seemingly subdued concepts such as tourism and commerce, and politically-charged agenda. As a result there is disorientation, but it is this uneasiness of being that makes it possible for seeing the familiar in a new, more participative and critical perspective.
Is it but appropriate that his exhibition is situated in Casa Tesoro, an old colonial mansion built in 1902. One could consider the building a souvenir, an object that brings back memories of what has been. From the façade itself one could infer a certain period of history. Though the architecture has been preserved, its purpose has gone through a lot of change – from housing private individuals and government employees, to accommodating corporate identities such as a bar, art gallery, and antique shop. The building, located in the City of Manila where tourists from all over the world abound, is but representative of what one would experience when witnessing Mark’s works.