stephanie syjuco



Black Markets
Self Constructions
> All of Me
> The Village (Small Encampments)








"Plowing (Living Room)," C-print, 27" x 18"

installation view at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2008: slide projector and screen

installation view at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2008

"Skyscraper (Kitchen)," C-print, 27" x 18"

"Village Children (Bedroom)," C-print, 27" x 18"

"Jeepney Ride (Kitchen)," C-print, 27" x 18"

"Hut Shelf (Living Room)," C-print, 27" x 18"

"Girl Walking (Kitchen)," C-print, 27" x 18"

"Hillside Letters (Office)," C-print, 27" x 18"

"Chair (Office)," C-print, 27" x 18"

"Chair (Living Room)," C-print, 27" x 18"

"Rumpled Bed (Bedroom)," C-print, 27" x 18"

The Village (Small Encampments)

C-prints and slide projector with timer, screen, and 80 slides
approximate duration: 8 minutes

I'm very curious about the idea of "cultural authority" and who gets to claim the boundaries for it. The idea that I am a "counterfeit" Filipino is something I've been very interested in playing with recently, exploring the murky area of cultural authenticity and even the fictions we create for our own allegiances.

Expanding on an earlier photographic series, this time-based work intersects two seemingly disparate narratives: a documentary portrait of my domestic space with a completely constructed and fantasized "homeland." Culled from tourist photos of the Philippines downloaded from the internet, the small cut-out dioramas form little embedded colony encampments and outposts, becoming for me crude reminders of a place I am connected to by birth and yet very unfamiliar with.

I'm interested in my own exotification of a real place and space-- the images of people and landscapes are supposed to be linked to me in some way, but to a large extent I have fictionalized my own identity as being "native." Mashing together ideas of "home" and "homeland" could be read as illogical, and I'm interested in the frictions that arise when the very near and the very far occupy the same psychological space. To me, the work is funny, poignant, oddly crude--and at times just plain wrong--in it's attempt to get closer and closer to a literal projection.


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