Storm: A Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Project
co-curated by Dr. J. Lorenzo Perillo and Dr. Johanna F. Almiron
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The Center for Art and Thought – November – mid-December 2014

Storm Title Screen
 
 
The exhibit entitled, Storm: A Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Project, commemorated the survivors of the super typhoon that made landfall in November 2-11, 2013. The storm proved to be the most destructive to hit the Philippines in modern history. The exhibit includes the works of choreographers, musicians, visual artists, photographers, academics, writers, and community activists who have critically reflected on disaster, environmentalism, and relief in the Philippines and diaspora. Raising awareness about the ongoing recovery and connecting Haiyan to other disasters around the globe.
 
Storm features twenty-six dynamic and relevant works by selected artists and scholars organized around themes including: critical and cultural perspectives, visualizing Filipino disaster, archipelagic sensibilities, performing empathy and diaspora, collaboration and cross-examining disasters, and community responses to the Haiyan. Exactly one year from Typhoon Haiyan’s landfall Storm launched with a series of live and virtual events and connects to the myriad of global relief events that took place in the immediate aftermath.
 
Drawing from his research on colonialism, choreography, and viral videos, co-curator J. Lorenzo Perillo coordinated a Typhoon Memorial Dance Workshop and flashmob that took place at the American Studies Association(ASA) annual meeting “The Fun and the Fury: New Dialectics of Pleasure and Pain in the Post-American Century” on November 8, 2014 @ 10:00am-11:45am, Westin Bonaventure, International Lounge (L3).
 

about the exhibit

More than merely exhibiting art, Storm called upon audiences to respond to Typhoon Haiyan in multidimensional ways: speaking poetry, replaying sounds, pondering pixels, exploring scholarship, orienting maps, donating to relief efforts, and busting a move. Regarding the Artist- in-Residence Franz DG, “His artwork captures the zenith of the historical moment where man- made destruction meets social revolution and the natural world’s rebellion becomes one with the people’s struggle. His work bridges the abstract and realist worlds evoked in the imagination by disasters of this scale,” stated co-curator Dr. Johanna F. Almiron. During his virtual residency, Franz crafted a political coloring book–black and white artwork that invited users, both young and experienced, to print out, complete with their own personal color schemes, and upload.

The spirit of the show strives to perpetuate an ongoing relief and healing process by transforming destruction into creativity. For example, Christian Almiron with Gentei Kaijo, a New York-based multi-racial band conjures a soundscape of hope with their live improvised recording. The Critical Filipina/o Studies Collective, a scholar-activist group that “seeks to organize educators and scholars to interrogate and challenge … ongoing neocolonial relations in the Philippines”, provides a critical perspective to denaturalize “natural” disaster. Works draw upon an array of media including but not limited to photography, multi-media installation, scholarly essay, pop music, painting, fiction, poetry, and choreography.

In addition to Franz DG, Christian Almiron with Gentei Kaijo, and the Critical Filipina/o Studies Collective, contributors include Chelo A. and Xien How, Amanda Solomon Amorao, Jennifer Almiron, Kirby Araullo, Gregg Bankoff, Ray Basa and Raffy Piamonte, Nana Buxani, Jeff Arellano Cabusao and E. San Juan Jr., Critical Filipino/a Studies Collective, Francesco Conte, Franz DG, Rodrigo de la Peña, Hannah Dormida, Hip Hop Dance Association, Francis Estrada, Valerie Francisco, Joel Kahn, Justin Katigbak, Joseph Legaspi, Dindo Llana, Enrico Maniago, Isabel Manalo, Erwin Mendoza, Claire Oliveros, Alex Orquiza, Nicole Ramirez, Lordy Rodriguez, Robyn Rodriguez, Catcher, Carver and Jhoanna Salazar, Janice Sapigao, Melissa Sipin.

While November 8th marked the formal launch of the exhibit, Storm unfurled gradually over several weeks. The exhibit showcased an initial limited set of contributors’ works published with the official launch and then more works at regular intervals until mid-December according to a sequence of sub-themes across a narrative arc that takes audiences from the storm’s destruction to the people’s response. Each newly published work was announced on CA+T’s Facebook page and the exhibit remains free and online at CA+T’s website.

For more information about community organizations that continue to help in disaster relief efforts, navigate to the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns and CARE.