Dreams of speaking (Book for weeds) Single channel HD video, 7m 16s 2020
Book for weeds is a photobook assembled in 2018 for an outdoor group exhibition. Artist-curators Abbey and Emen Batocabe (Para://Site Projects) informed and regularly reminded the participating artists that the location — a pineapple farm in Silang, Cavite — would likely experience rain and even in rain’s absence: dew.
I combined a form and material opposite in their susceptibility to being outdoors and getting wet, with books generally found indoors needing care and proper handling vis-à-vis polytarp’s plastic resilience ubiquitous in local billboards, store signages, election posters, and reused for such purposes as covers for tables and tricycles.
The images mined from my own pool of photographs were selected for their relation to plants: most were indoor and outdoor snapshots of potted plants, fields of grass, things found in neighborhood bushes, funeral flora, trees tied or cut or layered in beaches and mountains, landscapes and similar environments encountered day-to-day or captured as an ongoing exercise amidst other projects. It includes two portraits: one of my mother, a professor at the UP Institute of Biology specializing in plant molecular genetics, and another of a cemetery caretaker my family knew for 17 years.
The video Dreams of speaking (Book for weeds) recontextualizes this book work, an exploration of different ways to exhibit its form and materiality, and a document of the book’s potential environments.