bcc: in search for cures correspondence art in the pandemic
David Felix | Pam Quinto | Hauritsa | mizutama | Solana Perez
Curated by Fara Martia Manuel-Nolasco and Alain Zedrick Camiling
Organized by Baguio Art Lab
September to October 2020
bcc: in search of cures | correspondence art in the time of pandemic posits as an attempt to discover and rediscover remedies in the mundane vis-à-vis experiences, adjustments, self-confrontation, and collaborative healing of the participating artists during the COVID-19 pandemic who will respond to weekly provided prompts.
While acknowledging that art cannot physically eliminate our struggles in the pandemic, Shaun McNiff (1981) believes that it gives significance and new meaning, perhaps a sense of active participation in the life process. By nurturing collaborative healing through creative expressions of experiences, thoughts, and feelings, this conceivably transforms anxieties into collective support and action. Nisha Gupta (2020) expounds and supports this (and McNiff’s) as she describes art (regardless of its form) as “a therapeutic vehicle for empowerment, solidarity, and collective action”.
The project title is lifted from the concept of bcc in e-mail exchanges where a third group of non-disclosed recipients are within reach. It has been a common practice to utilize this function to address confidentiality among recipients or incognito.
The identities of the participating artists were withheld until the online public program to facilitate intimacies and focus on forging relationships between participants regardless of where and who they are. As an extension, Baguio Art Lab announced a call for audience-participants to allow interaction between publics and participating artists. True to the concept of bcc in emails, the curators served as postmasters who would bridge these online exchanges.
For 30 days, the project facilitated creative exchanges between artists and audience- participants to delve on their musings, reflections, and personal struggles during the pandemic. For 5 consecutive periods, the artists and audience-participants received 5 prompts from the curators delving on the mundane, the environment, and the pandemic, perhaps these are intertwined factors that are characterized by the changes brought by the pandemic. These were documented and archived on a Padlet wall, which gets constantly updated, for easier navigation. During the public program, it was revealed that the exchanges facilitated collective healing, creative and critical expression, and an opportunity for artists not just to converse with various kinds of people but also to explore and ponder on their artistic processes.