VAGARI

Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.
~ Frida Kahlo ~

It is not so much that multimedia performance artist Josephine Turalba was born to wander, as the Latin title implies. Perhaps she has a mole on her foot which in Filipino superstitious beliefs could mean that she loves adventure and thus, to wander. This writer would add to the meanings of the term and the superstition—to wander with urgent purpose. Land, sea, air narratives of migration are leitmotifs throughout Vagari.

Turalba investigates a multiplicity of mythological, phantasmagorical, and actual worlds—hers, yours, mine, and someone else’s in places and times that collide, converge and confound. As contexts change, so does Turalba’s choice of mediums—video installation; polaroid light-boxes; serigraph prints; video still photographs; and painting. Their textural layers and meanings give way to critical visual and audio utterances in precise overtures on the current state of things—our world plagued with unprecedented environmental damage, globalized terror, crumbling economies, civil wars, acts of terrorism. The list goes on. We can choose or not to look at their profound effects on ecosystems and human beings—causing waves of migration that we have never witnessed before in this befuddling manner.

It is insightful to look at the totality of Josephine Turalba’s new body of work with eyes that transmit to the mind what the heart beats. Look, listen and feel the noise that repeats and appears to repeat like a skipping needle that we cannot hear, see or feel anymore. Embedded in these creations are truths that without the prolific aid of an astute artist, we as an audience may find it difficult to digest and understand their core messages that allude to the contradictory gamut of beauty and horrors of our humanity. Artspeak as heartspeak is not simplistic nor singular. It requires the use of all of our senses and mental faculties to decipher a matrix of en/coding, familiar and unfamiliar.

~ Angel Velasco Shaw