In response to our current exhibition “a bird flies in the mirror”, we’re excited to invite curator Sidd Perez to reflect on early shifts within the Manila art scene. Manila in the 2000s caught the tail end of the 90’s-spurred indie scene before artists swerved their practices for commercial opportunities in the regional markets. Rolling with the punches of self-organising that also reckoned with the chance of economic viability, the Manila art scene was risk-tolerant and excitable while simultaneously staying suspicious and incessant in not “selling out.”
Inhabiting this complex site meant performing autonomy and co-creating what is called an artist ecology. Sidd’s presentation revisits the occasions of representing this ecology in institutional scenes, market scenes and “alternative” scenes by considering the contact zones of these then-liminal channels. At a time when curating was incidental, Sidd straggled along the hospitable spaces of artists and mentors generations her senior, encountering the deep shifts in practice and relationships that made Manila entering the new millennium seductive, overly productive and essentially complex.
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About the Speaker
Sidd Perez is a curator from Manila, Philippines. Since 2008, she has developed opportunities for transcultural contact among artists and curators from different localities of practice. Her curatorial work developed in her early collaboration with regional galleries, university museums and artist-run spaces. Among other initiatives, Sidd founded Planting Rice in 2011, a curatorial platform that continues to reorient lost, unloved, poorly circulated, misrepresented archives and approaches to exhibition-making. In recent years, her focus has been on negotiating contemporary projects and institutional histories, frequently collaborating with unlikely couplings of researchers, students, and artists with multidisciplinary aspirations. Affiliated with a university museum, Sidd develops exhibitions around Southeast Asian collections and contexts and steers the prep-room, a curatorial modality that exposes labour and unruly learning processes. Because of her continued relationships with practitioners in the region, Sidd has been part of juries for residencies, film festivals and curatorial awards.