IDYLS | Salvador Alonday
November 25 (Wednesday) 6pm at Artinformal at the Main gallery.
Also two exhibition opens, the show of
José Santos III @Big Room
And Raena Abella @Inner Room
Of Idyls and Regeneration
Dwelling on poetry, on how the small begets larger, perhaps endless, articulations, leads us to the idyl, particularly on how Salvador Joel Alonday’s “Idyls” recall the form in its original sense; that is, small selections of verse structured in the manner of larger poems. Rhythm, scale and elegance of composition flow in the signature of Alonday’s rendering of feminine and masculine energies, returning us to a primal retelling of foreboding and longing. But also, speaking in metaphors that dig into our childhood precepts about nurturing and control.
These are sculptures in stoneware, individuated as assemblies of particular meanings, but collectively threading an encompassing narrative. Alonday’s telling though, is not an ordinate process. There are no chapters, no titles to these stories; no center or chronology structured the production and installation of these pieces.
Hence, the “Idyls” are almost as organically brought together. The artist intimates the improvisational factor in its becoming, of how the figures are thought out, assembled and re-assembled in continuous conversation with the clay. Alonday’s motivation is to weave assignments of conscious ideas with the unstructured memory of a collective unconscious. Much like how the psychologist Bruno Bettelheim harnessed the telling of fairy tales to help children come to terms and reconcile their primal desires with the tethering of social mores, unconscious content merges with conscious fantasies in the realms storytelling and myth-making as valuable tools in the formation of self-worth and selfhood. Likewise, primitive expressions such as the Maitum jars from Mindanao influence Alonday’s approach. These too are anthropomorphic vessels that agree, in Alonday’s words, “In the end, we are all untold stories.”
As the idyls must, a becoming is in order. The viewer is left to judge what could possibly come forth. Poetry’s license is art’s equal complicity with truths and lies. The repugnant and the tragic assert their own beauty. Bliss finds fruition after shattered innocence. We are finite creatures intent on regeneration.
words by Karen Ocampo Flores
Photo by Ling Quisumbing Ramilo