Labor/Authority is an attempt to situate myself in the world in relation to textual authority and dominant ideologies. The prints in this series contain photographs of street signs and scanned government-issued documents that are then overlaid with hand-written text—documents attributed to power. These texts vary from critical art theory, to the Tagalog Catholic Bible, to immigration law; i.e. written works emblematic of the rules in which one would conduct their day-to-day life. Power, in this sense, encompasses the legal, religious, theoretical, governmental and transnational implications of dominant thinking and regulated action. Through this method, the notion of text-as-power is reduced to mere noise—eclipsing the ideas it is meant to represent, the prints instead utilize an ideological hegemony as a texture or a filter through which one views the world around them.
By forcing narratives together, these works put into question the microscopic or the idiosyncratic against a more telescopic or macroscopic view, resulting in a visual interaction between the governing with regard to the individual or the governed. The process of hand-writing is ritualistic and contemplative in as much as it is laborious. Varied narratives, though personal, set up the implicit dichotomy that is present in all of the prints in this series. The historical narrative is vast, ranging from pre-colonial Philippines to contemporary scholarship. As such, some are embedded in post-colonial tensions that explore historical flows of belief systems and mandated law on transnational and global planes; others are meant to interrogate the role of art scholarship that often times muddle our own expressions, re-contextualizing the role of critical theory. They become a labored articulation and an exhaustive alteration of the original and the mundane.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965
The Book of Mateo (The Book of Matthew), Magandang Balita Biblia (Tagalog Catholic Bible)
Howard Becker's Art Worlds
Brian O'Doherty's Inside the White Cube
Susan Sontag‘s On Photography