The exhibition marks the first solo institutional presentation of artist duo Enzo Camacho and Ami Lien in the region. The title refers to a town in the plantation island of Negros in the Philippines, which gained significant international attention for the tragedy of the Escalante Massacre. This episode of state violence against a people’s protest is emblematic of the ongoing struggle for land and economic reforms in the Philippines, whose unjust political system is rooted in a history of colonial and imperial subjugation. Through an interweaving of testimonials, observations, and materials foraged over the course of an extensive period of research, the artists aim to shed light on the significance of collective remembrance and mourning in the fight for food sovereignty and land justice. Imagery drawn from Negros shifts and transforms across mediums, including drawings on handmade paper, a stop motion animation, light installation, and an experimental documentary.
‘Offerings for Escalante’ is an inquiry into whether contemporary art can be accountable to social movements. The artists intend to activate the exhibition as a site for collaboration, constellating organisations in the Philippines such as MARTYR and SAKA with activists and collectives in Hong Kong and beyond. These multivalent offerings extend beyond Negros, resonating with similar social struggles in Hong Kong and other locales, and alluding to alliances that could be forged in a collective resistance to the sweeping narratives of dispossession and loss.
This premiere presentation at Para Site emerges from a cross-institutional collaboration with CCA Berlin – Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow International, and MoMA PS1.