7 September – 11 November 2018
Lee Kang Ha Art Museum
Hothouse is an exhibition organized for the Gwangju Biennale Pavilion Project 2018. It reflects on the tension between the ecology of growth and its contact with the social atmosphere.
This is an excerpt from an article by Patrick D. Flores. You can download the whole catalogue here.
To Live Within
by Patrick D. Flores
The exhibition looks into the condition of quick action. The word hothouse refers to a structure that rears or cultivates plant life that is out of season. It points to the contact zone between the natural and the artificial and the transformation of something with exceptional speed. It is an environment made of glass. It is a greenhouse. The alternation between the terms house, green, and glass alludes to a complex condition in which “life” is engineered at the same time that this formation is laid bare through the transparent layer of glass. This becomes an exceptional moment of both intimacy and alienation. After all, to hothouse children in school is to make them learn faster, beyond the rhythms of play and distraction.
This exhibition is organized by the Philippine Contemporary Art Network, which is temporarily based at the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum. In this preliminary phase of the initiative, it focuses on three activities: Knowledge Production and Circulation; Exhibition and Curatorial Analysis; Public Engagement and Artistic Formation. It endeavors to activate a network to coordinate a range of interventions in contemporary art in the Philippines and to cast a sharper profile for it on an inter-local and trans-regional scale. It is keen to confront the requirements of research and discourse; curate art and subject the curatorial gesture to critique; and propose modes of exciting the public sphere of art and in the process harness the energies of its agents.
The word hothouse references the exhibition’s interest in certain situations of emergence that lie at the intersection between sensitivity to the elements (hot) and sensitivity to space (house). Taken figuratively, the term refers to how forms of action are catalyzed, made to happen everyday with intensity and urgency.
Four Philippine artists respond to the implications of hothouse in different ways. But they all struggle with the situation of liveliness and the trace of afterlife in collective formations such as social movements, mass culture, and urban development. The exhibitions are set up at the Lee Kang Ha Art Museum and the space that was previously named Mite-Ugro.
Download the Hothouse catalogue and other PCAN publications here.