Old Maps, Oranges and Ocampo

13 12 2010

I have been battling with a terrible virus that has left me with paralyzed with migraines, head congestion, fever and cough for the last week and finished off with a lovely stomach wrenching flu finale for the last four days! I’m not sure if I contracted two different bugs but either way have been pretty devastated.

On a positive note, I’m on the mend and am headed to Spain to fill up on some much needed vitamin C and sunshine.  We leave tomorrow for Seville for both leisure and research.  When I’m not gorging on tapas, oranges and sherry I intend to spend some time in the Archivo de Indias and hopefully get in contact with Filipino-american painter Manuel Ocampo who is currently based in Seville.

I have emailed both Ocampo and his gallerists at Tyler and Rollins in New York a month ago to set up meeting. I hope to interview Ocampo regarding his newest, rather dark  works, An Arcane Recipe works. The exhibit is described by the gallery as “more mysterious yet emotionally charged (with) motifs that evoke an inner world of haunting visions and nightmares.” This series is a considerable which change from Ocampo’s transgressive postcolonial commentary of the 1980s and I hope to get his opinion on the state of Philippine art today and his views on the postcolonial artist.

I also hope to do some primary research at the Archivo General de Indias which hold some of the first documents from the Spaniards in regards to the Philippines. This will help in my thesis introduction where I aim to map out a visual history/narrative for the Philippines in regards to disapora and art.

Seville was the capital of the Spanish colonial world in the sixteenth century and was the transnational hub of the empire when the Philippines was first colonized. As a result, the initial seeds of the Philippine nation and its roots in colonialism can be traced back to Seville. I hope to locate any documentation pr better yet images of the Philippines from that time period and incorporate it into my research.

Fingers crossed!