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29 August 2018

Guest lecture by Dayang Yraola, ‘Exhibiting Maceda: Beyond Ethnomusicology’

Collaboratively organized with the Philippine Studies Series Berlin at Humboldt University, and hosted by Sari-Sari, Berlin. 

The José Maceda Collection is a rich body of ethnomusicological research, avant-garde compositions and musicological writings housed at the University of the Philippines Center for Ethnomusicology (UPCE). Gathered largely between late 1950s until early 2000s, this collection comprises the most expansive archive of materials on the internationally acclaimed Philippine ethnomusicologist and experimental composer, José Maceda (1917-2004). The digitization of the collection between 2007-13 by the UPCE team with the support of a grant from UNESCO, opened up new opportunities to make its contents better known, both within the Philippines and abroad, and to revisit its relevance for present scholarship and creative work.

Towards the conclusion of the digitization project, Dayang Yraola, a practicing curator and then Archivist and Collections Manager at UPCE, conceived a series of exhibitions using the materials from the collection. In this presentation, Dayang reflects on the making of these exhibitions as ‘learning moments’ and platforms for thinking through new ways of ‘exhibiting’ the legacy of Maceda in order to make his writings and compositions relevant to other disciplines beyond musicology. Listen to My Music (2013) sampled the contents of the collection, leading up to Reading Maceda, PRELUDE (2017), a pioneering exhibition of Maceda’s thoughts through his writings. These exhibitions were followed by Attitude of the Mind (2017), the first display of materials from the collection outside the University of the Philippines campus, and an invitation for multimedia and sound artists to respond to the vast textual, visual and documentary materials in the archive. Most recently, Banyuhay, Life Cycle of Music Instruments (2018) in China, and Agungan: ReSounding South (2018) in the UAE, marked the first exhibitions of the collection outside the Philippines, and considered the relevance of Maceda’s work and archive for studies on tradition, modernity, and experimental artistic practice within Southeast Asia and a transnational context. 


Dayang Yraola is an independent curator based in Manila and Hong Kong, and an Assistant Professor at the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts and College of Music. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Philippine Studies, majoring in Literature and Art Studies, and Masters in Museum Studies from the University of the Philippines. She is currently a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Dayang’s curatorial focus is on process-based art projects, which took off from two earlier platforms which she spearheaded, Project Glocal (2011-2015), and Composite Series (2015-2018), involving artists from Southeast and East Asia. 

18 November 2017

Maid in Mayfair (2017) by Vanessa Scully

Screening followed by Q&A between Vanessa Scully and Dr Eva Bentcheva

Organised as part of SEA Currents 2017: Discussion Day

Maid in Mayfair is a series of four short experimental ‘docu-fiction’ films exploring the exploitation of Philippine migrant domestic workers in the UK. While the title and storyline are references to the Hollywood box office smash Maid in Manhattan (2002), starring Jennifer Lopez as Marisa Ventura, a socially mobile, modern-day Cinderella, Maid in Mayfair draws on real-life conversations with domestic workers and the artist’s own experience of growing up with a mother who was an Overseas Philippine Worker in Australia. It satirically appropriates Hollywood’s glamorised and comic stereotypes of domestic workers in order to explore the roles of hope, fantasy and belief in the everyday experiences of Philippine domestic help in the UK.


The films aim to question how the experience of the Philippine diaspora is also shaped through various faith systems which have been historically imported into the Philippines, particularly American pop culture and the teachings of the Catholic church. In doing so, they aim to ask bigger questions: does the omnipresence of the church and American cultural exports help keep the domestic workers subservient? Or rather, are these Filipinas left to fend for themselves and seek salvation through suffering, all the meanwhile longing for a silver screen happily-ever-after?

3-4 November 2017
M.A.P. - Moving x Archive x Performance: Archiving 'Asia'
Over the past years, there has been a surge of interest in performance art practices within and from Southeast Asia. Yet, there are few archives and databases of performances from the region where students, academics, artists and curators can access images, publications and conversations happening around the diverse field of performance art from Southeast Asia. In 2017, Batubalani partnered with the independent curatorial organisation, Something Human, whose series of events and exhibitions  M.A.P. - Moving x Archive x Project, explores the relationship between performance art, documentation and archiving.
The third part of this initiative - M.A.P. 3: Archiving 'Asia' - works to gather archival materials on performance art from across Southeast Asia. Focusing on the Philippines, Batubalani has worked to reflect the practices of a number of artists and collectives, and to establish a basis for more artists and artworks to be added to the archive in the future. This collection will be based as digital files at the Live Art Development Agency in London, where it will be accessible to anyone interested in the topic. 

We would like to extend our special thanks to the following artists, researchers and academics whose contributions in the form of documentation, publications and feedback have shaped the representation of Philippine performance art in this archive: Chi Bagtas (Research Associate, Batubalani), Rhine Bernardino, Petty Benitez-Johannot, Ringo Bunoan, Jef Carnay, Mideo Cruz, Gaston Damag, Merv Espina, Patrick Flores, Nerisa Guevara, Yolanda Johnson, Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez, Noel Ed De Leon, Racquel de Loyola, Roselle Piñeda, Christina Rodriguez (on behalf of Norly Lalo), Jose Tence Ruiz, Judy Sibayan, Mannet Villariba (on behalf of TAMA), Dayang Yraola. 

The launch of this archive took place on the 3-4 November at the Live Art Development Agency, with accompanying talks and performances on the topic of performance art in Southeast Asia. 
Friday 3 November 2017, 6.30pm – 9.00pm 

Talks by Dr Ray Langenbach (University of the Arts, Helsinki), Dr Dominic Johnson (Queen Mary University, London) and Something Human.

Durational performance by Noel Ed De Leon.

Saturday 4 November 2017, 12.00pm – 7.00pm 

Talks by Dr Eva Bentcheva (Batubalani), DARC (Tara Fatehi Irani, Manuel Vason, Jemima Yong), Melanie Keen (Iniva), Lois Keidan (LADA), Dr Ray Langenbach (University of the Arts, Helsinki), Hammad Nasar, Raju Rage, Erika Tan, Sung Tieu, Loo Zihan.

The Southeast Asia Performance Collection may be access on-site at the Live Art Development Agency, London

29 October 2015 

Present in Venice: Extensive Philippine Locality in the Present, Dr Patrick Flores

Co-organised with the Centre for South East Asian Studies (SOAS, University of London) 



Download: P. Flores, 'All Over', published in the catalogue Tie A String Around the World, 2015 




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