|Travel, by definition, entails movement and removal. Frequent travelers will tell you that genuine travel entails being an outsider, looking away from the self, and often ironically results in introspection and an inner homecoming. In Multiverse , Jazel Kristin deconstructs her journey from her first international exhibit, Parallel Universe, held in Aubagne, France in 2009, to her present state almost five years later as an artist who is now based both in Paris and in Manila.
Multiverse is an exhibition containing new perspectives and diverging realities. Up front, it takes art quite literally out of the white box and into the streets. Part performance, part-documentary and Multiverse collaboration with the artist’s father, photographer Carlito Villamarin, the pair tries to debunk the viewpoint that art is only for the four walls of the gallery or museum. The final collages by Jazel Kristin contain broken and multi-layered images that reflect exterior surroundings and blurs the line between the two worlds, merging street and private space, the outside and the inside, by way of France and the Philippines.
Jazel Kristin’s collages feature fragments, slices, juxtaposition, repetition, ripples, textures, depth, and alternating dimensions. They are dream-like and surreal, with multiple layers echoing like a recurring dream. Of the ten artworks on exhibit, half were shot in Sta. Ana, Manila, and exude the warmth of both the people and the place. These works are chaotic, full of images and textures that exude heat, noise, and energy. The rest o the collages were shot in France and feature the artist on her own, with less people willing to interact with her and her work. Similar in stance as peddlers of paintings in the streets, she parades her works as if requesting them to be seen, and engaging them as objects on display in the exterior spaces they are in.
Multiverse was created to be shown, paradoxically, inside a gallery, but tries to allow for fluidity and movement, for a looking away from the confines of “art”. The interaction between art and space is layered with the nuisances o the relationship between a father and a daughter, and consequently between the artist and the viewer.
– Rica Estrada
[ONE MUST LEAVE IN ORDER TO RETURN]
Life is filled with paradoxes. To truly know yourself, at some point, you need to lose yourself. To see the best in someone, you need to see first that person at his or her worst. To be able to go back, you must first take your leave. All these paradoxes, Multimedia Artist Jazel Kristin has chosen to live as she revisits the city of her dreams, none other than Paris, with her father, whom she considers as her greatest influence.
As a child, Jazel has been enamored with all things Parisian—a passion that now fuels her desire to create art. During her several sojourns to the French capital, Jazel has landed a residency at the prestigious Cité internationale des arts, and has mounted exhibits throughout France.
Her art, itself, is a paradox—cut-out elements from various photographs she has captured, not only in France, but also in her homeland, as well as other parts of the world, juxtaposed to create a whole picture. Each artwork is a harmonious universe crafted from various, even seemingly opposite cultures.
In her latest trip to Paris, she brings her father, a former photographer of a television network. His photography had paid for his own studies, and eventually allowed him to provide for his family. But as the years passed, his interest in photography had faded. To infuse him with renewed creativity, Jazel decides to treat him to a European escapade—to discover with him new sights and cultures, and to show him the Paris that she loves.
In a touching documentary that Jazel Kristin shot, wrote, and edited, viewers will witness the story of not only a man reviving a dying passion, but also of a father reconnecting with his headstrong daughter, who, in turn, is also struggling to meld her childhood fantasies and life goals.
With ORiGINAL SOUNDTRACK by
Outerhope / Sugar Hiccup / Armi Millare / Studio Paradise / JS Arnaudies / Roberdam / Mayaewk / Wataru Miyakawa
clip from the documentary
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
What consumes you? This was a question that obsessed Jazel Kristin Villamarin during her artist residency in Paris, almost as much as food has obsessed her for most of her life.
While in Paris, Jazel exposed herself to what the city had to offer, and subsequently denied herself of the best of it, the notoriously rich cuisine, during an intense 10-day fast. It was during this trying period that she started interviewing her fellow artists-in-residence, and as a way to creatively deal with her mounting frustration, Jazel started making a video. Its main character is a masked lady seen eating and subsequently vomiting what she’s eaten. Her scenes are interspersed with random images of food and other luxuries.
The masked lady has travelled quite a bit since then, participating in the AX(i)S Art Project in Baguio City, and in exhibits in Vargas Museum and Blanc Gallery in Manila. She is now accompanied by another video of other artists talking about what it is that consumes them the most, as well as mixed media collages on wood. These rich collages were made during Jazel’s most current artist residency, this time in Casa San Miguel in Zambales, Philippines. The wall-bound artworks are made up of cut-up images of food she’s eaten and enjoyed in the different cities she’s been in. The food, essentially the sic of the masked lady her video, is camouflaged and made into new images, obstructing viewers from seeing what it was in its original state. Jazel chose to mount these new images on raw wooden chopping boards that allowed her to cut, paint, gild, burn, and destroy them to her hearts content.
Like the cyclical food chain, Jazel’s adventure in creating this exhibit ended with yet another 10-day fast, coinciding with the beginning of her residency in Casa San Miguel. This fast, and Jazel’s experience in Zambales marked the beginning of a different adventure for her, and allowed her to look into herself, in contrast to the outward learnings she gained in France. It was here that she discovered new things that consumed her, and eventually, new things that inspired her. This show is a feast to the eyes and to the stomach, but more importantly, an end to an obsession, and the start of brilliant new ones.