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30 May 2021 —
22 August 2021

The Kalampag Tracking Agency:
30 Years of Experimental Film & Video from the Philippines

Roxlee, Juan Gapang, 1987 (still). Super 8 transferred to HD. Courtesy of the artist.

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The Kalampag Tracking Agency: 30 Years of Experimental Film & Video from the Philippines

Overcoming institutional and personal lapses to give attention to little-seen works—some quite recent, some surviving loss and decomposition—this screening programme collects loose parts in motion, a series of bangs, or kalampag in Tagalog, chosen for their individual strengths and how they might resonate off each other and for a contemporary audience. Featuring some of the most striking films and videos from the Philippines and its diaspora, the initiative continues to navigate the uncharted topographies of Filipino alternative and experimental moving image practice.

The Kalampag Tracking Agency is by no means a representative programme. The selection is personal, subjective. Like the works assembled here, the act of assembling this programme is informed by a certain agency, by an independent urge to act on one’s will. With a variety of formats, techniques and textures—from Super 8 and 16mm to HD and cellphone video, from found-footage and optical print experiments to ethnographic documents and video installations—this isn’t a collection of works assembled by theme, history, medium or other arbitrary concerns, but a confluence of uncanny juxtapositions and pleasant contradictions, an experience not unlike revisiting a familiar place in a new light. But before you get to where you’re going, you hit a speed bump or a pothole and you hear a loud rattling coming from your car. Sometimes you think something’s amiss; sometimes it’s the sound of it that comforts you.

In this showing of The Kalampag Tracking Agency, the screening programme sits alongside The Inner Lives of Islands exhibition curated by Robbie Handcock. The artists in both the programme and exhibition share sympathetic vantage points on the relationship between personal and national identities, interrogating their own selves and surrounds.