TRAPO

This series began as a collection of political posters and scenes that I found in the Philippines. Taking an iconoclastic approach and engaging in the practice of damnatio memoriae, I am presenting images of deterioration as a means of revealing an entrenched feeling of distrust towards a historically corrupt political system.

To that end, I shot the images digitally, processed and printed them with expired Polaroid 600 and SX-70 film, and lifted the emulsions onto recycled, unbleached paper stock made in the Philippines.

The title takes its name from the Tagalog word for a torn cleaning rag or a crooked politician.

The quotations provided are excerpts from 'Towards the New Society' by Ferdinand Marcos and 'TAO: Humanism at work in Filipino Society' by Imelda Marcos, which are two foundational pieces of propaganda published by the Marcos regime. The rhetoric sounds progressive and perhaps resonant of contemporary Filipino political platforms, but have been included as a reminder of the hypocrisy of that time.

PRESS

"Finalist in the Professional - Conceptual category"

- Sony World Photography Awards

"New Directions: Lawrence Sumulong"

- Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography

"Nueva Luz, Foto Legacies, Fellowships I "

- En Foco

“Through the centuries, the Filipino had been putting on a mask in order to confound his conquerors. When the time came to take off the mask because it was no longer needed, he found that it had become part of his face. This was the commanding image of our crisis of identity. But we have peeled off the masks, confronted ourselves, revealed and asserted our Filipino identity. No people can endure without the vital knowledge of who they are”

“Through the centuries, the Filipino had been putting on a mask in order to confound his conquerors. When the time came to take off the mask because it was no longer needed, he found that it had become part of his face. This was the commanding image of our crisis of identity. But we have peeled off the masks, confronted ourselves, revealed and asserted our Filipino identity. No people can endure without the vital knowledge of who they are”

Using Format