Moshe Ladanga

The Quiet and Interesting Hours

with one comment

Nick Buer’s piece in the basement corridor (Photo courtesy of Tim Pickup, MA08 Flickr Pool)


I spent quite a lot of time invigilating downstairs, in the basement. With the eerie and strangely soothing sound of the motorway reverberating throughout the space (coming from Nick’s interactive piece, pictured above), I was altogether calm and comforted by the sound (I grew up in a city). There were many people who wandered throughout the space, and I am still surprised at the various reactions, spoken and unspoken, I have witnessed during exhibition week.

There were a lot of people who came downstairs, and it worked to our show’s advantage; since most of the pieces were installations, the basement was a great place to get lost in. I remember when Adriano and Katrin were brainstorming, they took each piece in hand and looked at the image, read the description, and formed the idea for the curation of the space. I learned a lot from those days leading up to the exhibition, and it was that particular day that stood out. Beyond all of the egos, safety issues and practical considerations, the point of curation is that the pieces can be experienced the way they are made to be experienced, and that the pieces, no matter how diverse or disparate, can talk and relate to each other, forming a sort of meta-journey, a line of thought that weaves through the space.

The people that went down the stairs followed that line; I had instances where people who initially were looking for the loo, went in and got lost for a while and before leaving turn to me to give thanks for the show. There were children who were being herded by their tutors, and despite the placations and pleas, they got engrossed in the images, the interfaces, the slow and meditative spell of the screen and the solemn hum of the dark space.

There was this young woman, at first all huffed up and proud, announcing she was an art student and basically demanding to be taken to each piece and be ‘informed’ of the idea and the method of its execution. I obliged her with a few pieces, but with a particular one (Birgitt’s) she asked if the photographs were manipulated to be more pretty. I answered that I didn’t know, but if you look at them, they were describing something else, something more than what you can see. She got intrigued, and after two hours, I saw her again and offered a bright smile before she left.

That same day, I had a lively discussion with a man, an exchange full of fireworks so to speak, and we ended up talking about history and politics. We ended with a bout of hearty laughter and a slight bow of the head, an acknowledgment of like minds.

There were also those hours when the space would be empty, and in those moments I would get to sit down and just ruminate for a bit, taking in what this meant, how this is all going to go, where is this going to end up. Sometimes I would catch myself wishing that the exhibition would last a bit longer, so that I get to meet more people, get to have more conversations about art that weren’t about theories, to experience more this directness, this simplicity. The thing most obvious to me regarding this experience is that it matters a lot to think of how people are going to see your work, that imagination and creativity still count for something.

In my head I hold other stories, of untold instances, of appreciative handshakes and generous gestures; it would be foolish to write them all down, as they still hold their spell as memory. There are times where there is need for refusal, like in art, where meaning is lost when nailed to theory, to research. I leave it be, and let these words on this page be a remembrance.


Written by mosheladanga

August 11, 2008 at 11:09 PM

Posted in Reflections

One Response

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  1. hi Kuya Mosh. WOW. Your works are so good! All of us here are so proud of you! I immediately posted your URL at my multiply after visiting this site. I’d like others in my circle to take a look at your works. Good luck there eldest pinsan! hehehe. 😛


    August 16, 2008 at 3:20 PM

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