SRP extricates consumer culture from its hidden, pervasive status in everyday life an ...



Cultural Center of the Philippines


21 February to 28 April 2019
Bulwagang Fernando Amorsolo (Small Gallery)   


At a certain point, we tend to acquiesce to the mechanics of life under capitalism. We are born, we grow up, and we work until we hit the befriending grave. The very labor we produce sustains the system that spikes prices up and keeps wages low. SRP, a shorthand for suggested retail price, apprehends the frustration that arises from the realization that we live in and liven the irksome enterprise of the invisible hand.

The exhibit features thirteen paintings brandishing the visual vocabulary of brand marketing and popular advertising: gaudy, eye-popping colors, animated lines, and fugitive glyphs that, due to their multitude, elude comprehension. Cling wrapped and unjustly tagged, these paintings draw inspiration from pop art, a movement born out of an ennui and fascination for capital. But like any mass-produced commodity today, the energy and self-denial stamped on these canvasses come with an exorbitant price, rendering visible the privatization of the art scene. 

SRP extricates consumer culture from its hidden, pervasive status in everyday life and exposes it in the contrapuntal museum space for everyone to see, question, and resist. With a logo that mocks one of the most recognizable icons for the Filipino urbanite, the exhibit unashamedly criticizes the unfair labor practices, the enslavement of customers to an illusion of choice, and the critical role of silence in maintaining the status quo embedded in the blueprint of capitalism. But the works exhibited in SRP do not seek to rally the people into a movement. Rather, they aim to frustrate the humdrum mechanics we have acquiesced to.

(Jose Monfred Sy)