All-Too-Familiar Interruptions Inspire This Art Exhibit

From not having a constant supply of water to traffic jams.

( If you’ve been commuting in Metro Manila, you know that the city is an overwhelming network of railroads, highways, walkways, and even rivers that sometimes serve as waterways. Disruptions in these pathways, which range from a road accident to flooding caused by trash in the sewage system, sometimes contribute to what we refer to as the "carmageddon"—a cursed moment of traffic jam that almost paralyzes the whole Metro. The exhibition Normal scheduling will resume shortly looks into these moments of interruption in the system and hopes to make sense of how space—and even the lack of it—affect the way we live. Works by artists Poklong Anading from Manila and Neil Fettling from Melbourne are on display at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Pasay City until November 3.

Normal scheduling will resume shortly navigates the passageways that have become sites of congestions in our urban setting. It also sees how similar this network of infrastructure to our body’s arteries and veins, where blood ideally courses without disruption.

"Seawall" by Poklong Anading, Neil Fettling, and other arists 
PHOTO BY James Tana

"Seawall," a collaboration by Anading, Fettling, and 10 other artists, was made from stacked cages and other waste materials such as plastic bottles, wrappers, ropes, and tubes. It also features photographs depicting people sleeping along Manila Bay, which is one of the most featured places in travel magazines for its sunset view. The installation serves as visual reminder of the amount of trash polluting the city’s natural harbor, causing disruption not only in the smooth flow of water to and from the sea, but also in the pedestrian walkway and roads along the boulevard.

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"--------" by Poklong Anading
PHOTO BY James Tana

Anading, in his photographic work "--------," examines how we use plastic bags which are often repurposed and passed on from one person to another. It shows eight individuals with plastic shopping bags by different establishments covering their heads. Whether we like it or not, these plastic bags have become part of our daily lives—from shopping to storing, and even for collecting waste.

"Catheterismo" by Neil Fettling
PHOTO BY James Tana

Fettling tells his painful experience of being stuck in traffic while traveling from his hotel to the hospital in "Catheterismo." For this installation, he hangs 28 catheter bags containing red liquid, which stands for the days he had to endure in the hospital with the device attached to his body. It is accompanied with recorded sound bites of taxi drivers singing novelty songs in the background, giving us a glimpse of the kind of human interactions that take place in private while traversing a public space.

"Timba" by Neil Fettling
PHOTO BY James Tana

In "Timba," Fettling gathers 40 buckets and assembles them in a way that they appear to be suspended from the sky. This sculptural work was cleverly placed at the open-air atrium of the building, where it can harvest water when it rains. These pails bring to mind the long queues that Metro Manila residents had to endure during water-service interruptions in the latest drought.


Normal scheduling will resume shortly is an abstract yet poignant contemplation on how the city works and how its inhabitants adapt to disruptions in "normal scheduling." It does not necessarily comment nor seek answers about the problems that plague the Metro, but to urge dialogues and interactions of how we can keep our city’s arteries and veins free from blockage.

Normal scheduling will resume shortly runs until November 3 at Bulwagang Fernando Amorsolo, Pasilyo Victorio Edades, and 4/F Atrium at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. For more information, visit CCP’s website.

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