Anima Art Space
November 11 - December 9, 2023
The phrase "Trying to find something better" encompasses a range of objectives. The word "Trying" releases us from the pressure of achieving, highlighting that the act of seeking is meaningful in itself. "To find" implies the presence of something missing in the current context, potentially misplaced but existing, though not immediately apparent. "Something better" remains an ambiguous, conceptual notion, still devoid of a distinct form, yet aspiring to become more efficient and harboring the potential for opportunities.
In 2020, multi-disciplinary artist Gerome Soriano began recounting his artistic process. This research venture involved collaborations with Curare Art Space, curators, creators, and cultural workers for a reflexive review of techniques, processes, inspirations, and considerations by which the artist finds placement in today’s hyper-rational world, where political, social, economic, and esoteric pursuits have borne cold, distant, and intellectually arrogant communities, including in the artworld. The result, three years later, is this exhibition, supplemented by an online component at www.curareartspace.com. Trying to find something better presents an outlook, a perspective of formulating "statements of possibilities" instead of finding definitive answers to unending questions. Inspired by metamodernism, wholesome internet culture, and the Age of Reenchantment, Soriano’s search for a philosophy and view of life has brought him to an ongoing appreciation and exploration of joy and meaning.
Borrowing words, icons, symbols, and images associated with healing and recovery from sources that span from spiritual practices to mobile games, Soriano effectively stitches pieces of intention and energy and presents them as scrolls or banners that emit a sense of encoded well-being in the immediate space. Painted canvases formed as sculptural flowers in bloom create a foliage around the gallery, allowing for the space’s structural and conceptual bendability. Tensegrity sculptures from previous exhibitions are also represented–mostly found objects from home and the artist’s locality–objects trying to find harmony with each component's mechanized tensions, weights, and integrities. Finally, publications including a selected book of paintings from the artists’ archive, and a mind-map of thoughts throughout the project reveal Soriano’s openness to articulate and explore possibilities and potentials, and transcend his own autocritique.
Trying to find something better seeks to grasp and activate the possibilities for transformation, not in opposition to any existing narrative, but as an appeal for "care" in the increasingly disenchanting contemporaneity. The experimental adoption of the existing systems to advance the artist's hopes endeavors, regardless of the outcome, to introduce potentiality, brimming with the hope of achieving "something better." (John Alexis Balaguer)
Trying to find something better presents an outlook, a perspective of formulating "statements of possibilities" instead of finding definitive answers to unending questions.
Trying to find something better seeks to grasp and activate the possibilities for transformation, not in opposition to any existing narrative, but as an appeal for "care" in the increasingly disenchanting contemporaneity.
So maybe what’s needed is
Admitting that I am hurt
Not focusing the blame on self or any one person
But see that it, like all other situations, are complex
But yeah, then I will focus on the things that I can control
Gerome Soriano, Notes
Gerome Soriano (b. 1990) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Manila, Philippines. His artistic practice encompasses a range of mediums, including video, photography, publications, painting, sculpture, and artistic organization. In his work, Soriano explores the emergence of wholesome internet culture, metamodernism, the Age of Reenchantment, and other contemporary cultural and philosophical phenomena, examining how these ideas could manifest through art. Soriano's work reflects a deep engagement with current sociocultural trends and a commitment to artistic experimentation.
Catalogue of Works
Braille for the Seeing, Cultural Center of the Philippines (Group, 2023)
Memaste, Lumbung Sumbung Tumbung, Mono8 (Solo, 2023)
books as flowers, flowers as books, The Drawing Room (Solo, 2022)
Massage message; Nanonood sama-sama nonton; flex, To Give and To Expect Nothing in Return (Harap Memberi Tak Harap Kembali),
Documenta 15, Kassel, Germany (Group, 2022)
Things that are not supposed to work but do, Vinyl on Vinyl (Solo, 2020)
Maritime Flags, Mono8 (Solo, 2019)
Circles, Vinyl on Vinyl (Solo, 2018)
Subarashi Hole, H∞L Gallery, Japan (Solo, 2018)
Chocnut Structures, Lost Frames (XII): Manila Biennale (Group, 2018)Some Many Different Are, 98b Collaboratory (Solo, 2017)
Supersonic, Dito: Bahay ng Sining (Solo, 2017)
Behance Appreciation Award - Photography Category
Best Thesis Awardee for Photography Exhibit & Catalogue Design, UST
Con Cabrera, Paolo Tiausas, Eya Beldia,
Ana Tamula, Sofia Santiago, Steve Manzano