The Center for Art and Thought (CA+T), a web-based arts and education nonprofit organization, launches its first virtual exhibition of 2018: Empire's Eyes: Colonial Stereographs of the Philippines. Curated by Jan Christian Bernabe, this exhibition draws from the archives of the California Museum of Photography’s Keystone-Mast Collection to make available late 19th- and early 20th- century stereographic photographs of the Philippines that have never before been exhibited.
Covering the tumultuous start of US colonialism in the Philippines (1898) through the early decades of the 20th century, Empire's Eyes: Colonial Stereographs of the Philippines explores how US government and business interests deployed stereographic photography, an immensely popular form of entertainment, to visually and ideologically manage Filipinos and influence governance in the American colonial possession. Not only did the public response to the circulating images change US policy in education, infrastructure, and the military’s presence in the islands, the images created and perpetuated in US popular imagination a perception of the Philippines and Filipinos as uncivilized and therefore in need of American colonial intervention. At the same time, the huge range of stereographic images reveal the practical and conceptual challenges to US colonial governance: the diversity of people and landscapes across an archipelago of over 7,000 islands overwhelmed the capacity of photographers, viewers, and colonial managers to order, categorize, and administer the Philippines.
The exhibition complements archival images with essays from a range of scholars of photography and the Philippines. The essays provide historical and theoretical context, and scholars include Nerissa Balce, Vernadette Gonzalez, Mark Rice, and others.
With a staggered launch on CA+T’s website (www.centerforartandthought.org), the virtual exhibition will add new works twice a week over the next four weeks. Stereographic images from the exhibition will also be posted on CA+T's Instagram (@artandthought) and Pinterest (@artandthought) profiles. When the exhibition concludes, all materials will be permanently archived on CA+T’s website.
Center for Art and Thought
About Center for Art and Thought
Starting from the perspectives of Filipinos around the world, the Center for Art and Thought (CA+T) harnesses the potential of digital and new media technologies in order to foster dialogues between artists, scholars, and the broader public. A web-based nonprofit organization, we believe that the convergence between art and critical thought is a crucial way to generate new modes of knowledge production and creative and critical lenses for understanding and transforming global conditions.
Center for Art and Thought
P: (323) 452-3550