Anonymity


Counter Acts I, 2004 chromogenic transparency in lightbox, edition:3, 230x490 cm  

Counter Acts I, 2004
chromogenic transparency in lightbox, edition:3, 230x490 cm

 

Anonymity, 2004-2012 set of nine images, chromogenic transparencies in lightboxes, edition: unique, nine parts, 53x50x3.5 cm each

Anonymity, 2004-2012
set of nine images, chromogenic transparencies in lightboxes, edition: unique, nine parts, 53x50x3.5 cm each

"For Anonymity (2004- ), Poklong Anading photographs people   in the streets of different cities he visits, showing them holding circular mirrors in front of their faces; this work, Counter Acts (2004), is the first in the series. The photographic gesture of seizing a moment in time - wherein the act of seeing and the nature of light dictate the visual result - is here both doubled   and foiled. The gazes of artist and subjects as they attempt to regard one another are obscured, the sunlight that is directed toward the camera by the mirrors controverting both the act of observation and the act of photography. In this group shot, the obstruction of vision is multiplied, intensifying this effect. The image is grainy and overexposed, its detail is, ironically,   apparent in its shadows and darker areas. The anticipated process of illumination and revelation never occurs, the result speaking instead to concealment and the absence of knowledge. Presenting this image on a lightbox, the artist magnifies further the instability of the photographic surface, as this format   speeds up the degeneration of the image over time.

Counter Acts is representative of a practice that ranges over photography, painting, video, sculpture, and installation. Anading's projects are characterized by a distinctive     perspective on and measured intervention in social phenomena. Scouring public space for his materials, he utilizes the ordinary and banal, responding subtly but immediately to his   environment. As in his interventions, Anading's engagement   with the subjects of the Anonymity series is fleeting. In another notable work Light suffers if there is no place to fall from   (2007) Anading set up a neon light in the shape of a mousetrap at Finale Art Gallery in Manila. As viewers at the opening of the exhibition gathered around the structure, taking it for the artwork, Anading, standing behind them, surreptitiously photographed his audience enthralled in the act of looking. In this work, as in Counter Acts, medium and subject are   exchanged in a canny reversal, resulting in not just an image or   a representation, but also in a conceptual act."

-June Yap


Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative
Curator for South and Southeast Asia
Originally published on guggenheim.org 2014 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (SRGF)
All rights reserved. http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/artwork/31235