at Green Papaya Art Projects
Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. + Carlos Villa
Green Papaya Art Projects
41B T. Gener (corner Kamuning Rd.), Quezon City
Sponsored by visual pond, kokoro-works.com
For "The Ephemera of Disposable Goods" series, Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. and
Carlos Villa offer the delights of CHATSILOG, a reflection on the desire to
connect across distance and time zones, a meditation on the shortcomings of
digitally-dependent communication and the false sense of security it provides,
and an effort at long-distance collaboration between 4 artists inhabiting 4
different places in the world, with the goal of producing a remote project in a
Carlos Villa is an artist and professor at the San Francisco Art Institute. A
contemporary of, and much like, Manila's own cultural treasure Roberto Chabet,
Carlos Villa has mentored and encouraged numerous California artists over the
years, all while continuing his own art practice. He brought the 3 members of
Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. together for a research project in 1994, and things
have never been the same since.
Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. (Eliza “Neneng” Barrios, Reanne “Immaculata” Estrada, Jenifer “Baby” Wofford) inevitably formed into something of a three-headed monster, and have been collaborating on performative photos, videos,
installations and public spectacles ever since. Since 2003 however, they've been
increasingly hampered by time-space considerations, with one member or another either living out of immediate reach of the others.
The challenge of this collaboration is not a simple one. The artists reside in
disparate places (Prague, Los Angeles, two different neighborhoods in San
Francisco) and are tasked with creating a project for Green Papaya Art Projects
in Manila. Technology comes to the rescue: laptops with built-in cameras,
high-speed internet, iChat. But it turns out that technology isn't perfect. And
neither are they. So they make do.
CHATSILOG is a bittersweet, comedic attempt to cohere fragmented interactions
into an illusory, temporary space that, for the duration of the project, the
artists can share and jointly occupy. M.O.B.’s participation in “The Ephemera of
Disposable Goods” series marks the group’s first exhibition in Manila. Sadly,
neither they nor Carlos Villa can attend in person to celebrate the occasion.