By Danny Castillones Sillada
01 August 2010
“I don't think artists can avoid being political. Artists are the proverbial canaries in the coalmine. When we stop singing, it's a sure sign of repressive times ahead.”
- Theresa Bayer
It has already been a tradition for a multi-disciplinary artist to invite poets, performance artists, and musicians to perform at the opening of his or her show. The convergence of different artistic mediums at the opening of Cesare Syjuco’s exhibit, for instance, produces interactive dialogues between the artists and the audience. And for the audience, it has always been a treat to witness such unique gathering of artists from different disciplines to reveal their aesthetic discourses through poetry, music, and live art performances.
Among those who performed at Cesare’s “Ancestry of Stone” last July 24, 2010 at Galleria Duemila in Pasay City were Gimeno H. Abad, Alfred “Krip” Yuson, Rayvi Sunico, Vim Nadera, and Maxine Syjuco for poetry; Cesare Syjuco, Mitch Garcia, Ian Madrigal, and this writer for live art performance; Lirio Salvador, J.P. Hernandez, and the members of Elemento for music.
Gimeno Abad always performs his poems from memory, thus speaking his poetry from his soul. The lightness of his persona and the sound of his placid voice emanate a buoyant atmosphere, cradling his audience with the rhythm of his verses. Alfred Yuson, on the other hand, seems blasé yet bubbly the way he engages his listeners with his spoken words. He always delivers his poems with wit and humor, titillating the mind and heart of the audience as though he was seducing a woman. Rayvi Sunico, a bilingual poet, speaks his poetry with such passion, drawing his audience closer to the texture of his linguistic expression.
Clad in tuxedo impersonating an opera singer, if not Pavarotti, Vim Nadera rouses the audience into laughter when he sang the name of Cesare Syjuco to the tune of “Besame Mucho”. Wearing a white mask and hand gloves, this writer also performed a poignant piece titled “Suicidal Tears”, an existential cry of anguish and despair, as expressed through bodily movements and bloody tears that came out from the mask’s eyeholes.
Lirio Salvador, the founder of ethno-industrial band called Elemento, redefines avant-garde music with eclectic sound that comes from assembled electronic and metal scraps. His orchestral music, with J.P Hernandez playing the percussion, creates an ambient backdrop for other artists to perform their pieces, like the sensual and mesmeric Maxine Syjuco with her short poem about the rain. Then, later, it was segued by Mitch Garcia, showing off her written statements on sheets of paper before the audience. One of her conspicuous avowals says: “Atheism is a non-profit organization.”
Cesare Syjuco’s performance is indubitably satiric and whimsical, luring his audience to listen attentively to the playful sound of his plastic gun with his emotive soliloquy: “She loves me, she loves me not…”(The man himself seemed to be overwhelmed and gratified over the success of his show). Noticeably, among the audiences were from showbiz, like Ronnie Lazaro and Joel Torre, and visual artists, like Tony Twigg with his wife, Gus Albor, Eghai Roxas, Red Mansueto, Roberto M. A. Robles, Raffy Ignacio, Boy Achacruz, and UP Professor and art critic Reuben Ramas Cañete, to name a few.
Hosted by gorgeous Trix Syjuco, co-host of Illuminati opposite Alfred Yuson at GNN Destiny Network (Channel 21), the superbly curated “Ancestry of Stone” and the entire performances were aesthetically orgasmic, culminating with exotic food, beer, and wine.
After the guests left one by one before midnight, this writer with Jean Marie Syjuco (painter and performance artist), Silvana Diaz (gallery owner), Lanie Aquino (cousin of PNoy), Gus Vivar (publisher), Mary Ann Sillada (Director of Neatnix Philippines), and Ilac Diaz (Pinoy social entrepreneur, activist, and model) relished once again the oeuvre of Cesare with a warm conversation on arts and culture, social issues, politics, and, of course, religion.
It was, after all, a night of aesthetic revelation that reopens our eyes to many facets of political and social realities, and a beginning to renew our hope and trust to our new political leader. And as one of Cesare Syjuco’s artworks says, “God Speaks to Cesare,” we (visual artists, writers, poets, and indie filmmakers and musicians) are hoping the same thing that God will already break His long silence and, this time, HE WILL SPEAK TO NOYNOY to bring peace, harmony, and prosperity in our country!