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Curator's Notes

When we are unable to find our way or know our whereabouts, we say we are lost. Being lost is a locational disconnect with place. But as an infirm mental condition, it is a disconnect from the memory of place -  the relationship of  people and spaces. The breakdown of one's relationship with place is akin to the erasure of its significance to the selk. And so, we don't really forget places for as long as cognition is intact; we only forget their significance. 

Such is descriptive of persons afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. The artist uses this as the framework of a participative exhibit of large-scale drawings whereby viewers are immersed in the imagined perspective of the afflicted, and take part in the completion of the pieces by erasing sections of the works that their personal times allow them to spare.

Erasure, which is essentially subtractice, points to (carved) sculpture. But adapted to the pictorial idiom, it can be considered as both an ancient and modern practice. Early petroglyphs on cave walls were made by scratching the wall surface, as is one of the early examples of graffiti, which mocked a Roman convert for his belief in the crucified Christ. Sixty-seven years ago, Rauschenberg, in expanding his concept of blank paintings, literally erased an old drawing of the more senior De Kooning, declaring that the resulting visual was not an important as the process employed in the work. Thereafter, other examples of erasure as process dispersed in other practices.

The artist appropriates the additive-subtractive process and re-contextualizes it in order to predicate her intent: to put us in the shoes of the person afflicted with memory loss disorder, in as much as all of us experience memory loss normatively, in varying intensities at various points in time, by choice or by circumstance - in our lives as individuals, as family members, as professionals, as citizens, and by extension, as players in the unfolding history of a forgetful nation.

Prof. Leo Abaya
March 2020


@ Malinao East, Lila, Bohol

The National Commission for Culture and Arts presented "Where Are We?" by Gabi Nazareno, on March 10, 2020 at the NCCA Gallery, Intramuros, Manila.

Sadly the national lockdown was declared four days after the exhibit opening. This limited the exhibit from being seen by the public. Last September, the NCCA gallery was able to send the artworks to Bohol, the artist's home province.

A private house exhibit followed soon after. The exhibit opened on October 17 and will end on November 30. Unfortunately, at present, private viewing is exclusive to close family and friends. 

To read about the opening last March, click on the link below:

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