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10 September 2007

Changing Places: A Photo Exhibit by Dennis Rito & Antonni Cuesta

Changing Places
Photographs by Dennis Rito and Antonni Cuesta
September 14 - October 19, 2007
Bliss Cafe, Baguio City

About the Show

There is an encounter here. A photo-documentarist and an artist working with photography meet in a peculiar exhibit that deals with each one’s relationship with places. As both photographers agree, “Whether we move or we stay in one place, where we are is what determines what we see.” Changing Places calls to attention how individual experience is ultimately determined by one’s spatial specificity.

While one would imagine an exhibit about places to be filled with pictures of sites and spaces, of volumes and perspectives, Dennis Rito and Antonni Cuesta circumvents the idea of the show, albeit unintentionally, by including images that engage the topic from different directions.

Coming from the tradition of documentary photography, Rito’s preoccupation is the portrayal of the everyday, of the ordinary and of the unnoticed. To do this, Rito moves from one to another, in search of “unguarded moments in the mundane,” populating his photographs with people he meets in various locations: at street corners, inside the mall or even under a bridge. He shares, “These images represent a cross-section of my visual experience of Life in the Philippines. My photography seeks to capture scenes of human struggle and beauty.” From images of grit to those of moments of comical delight, Rito’s photographs can be seen as a collective portrait, sincere and unpretentious, of the Filipino’s varicolored character.

Whereas Rito produces his images by shifting from one location to another, Cuesta makes his photographs by being a body in stasis. “There is nothing more moving than standing still in the middle of an empty room,” reflects Cuesta, “when you are confronted with emptiness, a strange comforting feeling comes over you, as if you can see more in the absence.” Cuesta was fascinated with the various ways that light behaved in his immediate space, a photography gallery where he works, interestingly enough. “It is light that flows, permeates, reflects, spills over, and illuminates, becoming the key feature of the space aside from its immediate architecture.” This project is an abstraction of that attribute—the light being the subject of the photographs—and thus dissolving the place entirely.

Changing Places is atypical but at the same time logical. The difference between Rito and Cuesta’s photographs are clearly distinguishable, making the exhibit almost irreconcilable. But one will discover the underlying insight about the project when one sees that more than anything else, this two-man show is about an encounter between genres, sensibilities and photographic practices. It is a project about dislocating the eye, and repositioning the retinal experience. Because only through this process that one can realize where he stands and where he wants to go.

Changing Places will be on show from September 14 to October 19, 2007 at Bliss Café, Munsayac Inn, Leonard Wood Road (across Teachers Camp), Baguio City. Everyone is invited to the opening night on September 14, 6 PM, where the artists will present their work. Cocktails will be served. This exhibition is for the benefit of the Columban Companions in Mission.

For inquiries, please text or call 0917.846.4729 or email info@blissnbaguio.com

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