How does an artifact, a motif, a fetish make the jump from elite item to kitsch icon? Are they able to make the journey back? Dime a Dozen hypothesized on how rarities, propped up as fine and precious, easily slip into the domain of the pop and the banal—rarely able to regain pristine cult status in their original form. Working on a variety of media, artists Tad Ermitañio, Alwin Reamillo, and Gerardo Tan took iconic Lopez Museum pieces on this potentially perilous journey, yielding in the process some very necessary revelations.
Dime a Dozen: Courting Iconophilia
Dime a Dozen. Sampu Sampera. Expressions for what's common, cheap, ubiquitous, palasak don't seem apt for any self respecting museum where "please don't touch" signs might abound of where people tend to whisper for fear of rousing the artifcats, paintings, and objects from the utterly precious perch of their utterly silent preening. And so when the Lopez Museum and Library invited three contemporary artists to use the museum as a studio and to choose works from the collection to utilize as their medium, the found and shaped forms collided as much as the found and shaped meanings colluded. The exhibition curator, Eilieen Legazpi-Ramirez, refers to the game as "baiting [the artists] to freely poach, parody, and animate selected pieces from the museum trove." In response the artists gambit was to mess up and mess with the muse-- the iconic status that the two great 19th century masters JUan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo weilded in Philippine History and art history.