Sagala de Ligalig: Jose Tence Ruiz
In Sagala de Ligalig, Jose Tence Ruiz moves forward along a trajectory that began in 1979 when he first cobbled together the woman-as-nation-in-excess metaphor, combining this then with the jeepney as tragicomic vaudeville setting of Philippine national life. This has over the last three decades evolved into the Diploma/ Vestida icons, the Fallen Apocalyptic Angels, the Fitness Machine Madonnas, the Ballroom Belles and their scar strewn latex gowns, and, more recently the Kotillions and all their variants. With the new Sagalas, still his muses of impulsive festivity amidst struggle and contestation, he seeks to infuse added nuance into a trope he has favored and wrung meaning from for majority of his practice. These oil paintings participate in the art world matrix of ornamentation, yet are imbued with quiet gasps of desperation, another of Tence Ruiz’s running preoccupations. There is again the grafting of celebrity and its powers into these new icons and the artist crafts this juxtaposition as a rumination on the power structures that engulf us, specifically in our media suffused lives.The series will most likely unfold further beyond this, but with the time invested in each work, roughly two and a half months, the pace will be slow. We might be consoled that there is yet more to come. Sagala de Ligalig also has a new variant on Tence Ruiz’s other series, the Kariton Katedral as well as Radical, a three dimensional rendering of his Bunjeefixion series. All said, it is an inventory of thoughts in transit and in progress. Jose Tence Ruiz’s Sagala de Ligalig opens on the 11th of October at Artinformal’s Main Gallery and will run until the 4th of November 2012.