LOVE SONGS FOR THE SAVAGES (Kundiman para sa mga salbahe)

Iris Ferrer, Kent Chan and Julian Abraham ‘Togar’ in fellowship
June 14–July 4, 2021

Image from The Dean C. Worcester Photographic Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Visualizing Cultures) / dw08f021: In addition to taking photographic images, Worcester and his colleagues also recorded Filipino voices. But visual accounts of Filipinos using Western technologies—as in this image of a phonograph—often suggested the cultural inferiority of Filipinos.

Love songs for the savages is a collection of transmissions for and by people from the equator. “Kundiman para sa mga salbahe” in Tagalog translates to “Love songs for the savages” or “If it were not for the savages.” “If it were not for...” is an oft-repeated line in several of the love songs (kundiman) that were used as a form of everyday resistance in the Philippines during Spanish colonial times. Using this history as a starting point for a project set in Amsterdam, Iris Ferrer, Kent Chan and Julian Abraham ‘Togar’ together generate forms of temporary heat wherein sonic and other sensorial connections among the experiences of cultural migrants can be sought and found.

The resulting atmospheres of warmth combine Iris, Kent and Togar’s individual studies, which revolve around the aesthetics of heat, music and collective work—opening up conversations with the potential to recognise sensibilities shared with others. Presented in waves, the project begins with the presence of a new video, Heat Waves, and the installation Hot House, both by Kent Chan. The latter will be permeated by an on-site broadcast of playlists collected for the online community radio, RAGADIGIOGO co-operated by Julian Abraham ‘Togar’ and various contributors. The fuller space will be repeatedly transformed through a daily performance called Dew Point (which emphasizes the bodily secretion of sweat and its relationship with performing), as well as communal activities, culminating on July 2, 3 and 4. As a manner of archiving and documentation, Iris Ferrer creates an undercurrent through daily writings within de Appel’s exhibition space.

Rather than rewriting grand narratives, these small gestures form ripples, combining into a public presentation that renders fluid the spaces between peoples of various backgrounds.

This is the final outcome of Iris Ferrer’s Curatorial Programme Fellowship 2020–2021 at de Appel


(APPROXIMATE FLOW)

FIRST WAVE
June 14 – July 4, 12-6PM
Kent Chan’s Heat Waves and Hot House ft RAGADIGIOGO
co-operated by Julian Abraham ‘Togar’ in the aula.

SECOND WAVE
June 14 – July 4, 2-6PM (weekdays), 12-6PM (weekends)
Kent Chan’s Dew Point performed by Devika Chotoe and Sofi Cca
(Sofi a Castro).

THIRD WAVE
June 30 – July 4, 12PM onwards
Julian Abraham ‘Togar’’s OK Studio in the aula.

FOURTH WAVE
July 2–4, 4PM onwards
Jamming sessions, lectures, conversations and a karaoke party
with Julian Abraham ‘Togar’.

UNDERCURRENT
June 7 – July 6
Iris Ferrer documents the happenings in space.

About Iris Ferrer

Iris Ferrer (Philippines/Netherlands) is an independent cultural practitioner. She was recently part of the 2019–2020 de Appel Curatorial Program and is the 2020–2021 de Appel Curatorial Research Fellow. She has worked as a writer, researcher, project manager and curator across the field of contemporary visual arts and alongside platforms and collaborators in the Philippines and the region.

About Kent Chan

Kent Chan (Singapore/Netherlands) is an artist, curator and filmmaker. His practice revolves around our encounters with art, fiction and cinema forming a triumvirate of practices that remain porous in form, content and context. He holds particular interest in the tropical imagination, the past and future relationships between heat and art, as well as contestations of modernist legacies and epistemologies.The works and practices of others often form the locus of his works, which have taken the form of film, text, conversations and exhibitions.

About Julian Abraham 'Togar'

Julian Abraham ‘Togar (Medan, Indonesia/Netherlands) engages in extensive research resulting in analytically focused artworks that often combine installation, sound, music, programming and science. Most, if not all, of his transdisciplinary practice derives from rhythms and systems, which, depending on the context of engagement, may consist of preserving, initiating, intervening, supporting, negotiating, hacking or questioning. He is often considering how to function within surrounding realities, and is constantly fascinated by the fact that even small interventions can bring forth changes geared towards the formation of new, sustainable support structures. Togar is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.