Video installation, iPad, Panasonic BT S901Y
A montage of quotidian scenes of the Philippines taken by a static phone camera, a black screen separates each footage. Subtitles translate some phrases heard in the background. Some are added mistranslation. The combination of translation, mistranslation, and added phrases create a prose poetry.
Choosing what to translate from the background, then filling the gaps, the words and images are transmitted and transformed into new contexts and usage. In the context of the full installation with multiple screens, the images of Philippines travel across new and old technologies in real time, as well as juxtaposed with black screens that, in turn, reflect the existing space in which the installation is located. Now and then, here and there, real and imagined converge. The words are not bound to the time and place in which the videos were taken but move across new imaginings.
from here is a sly work of (mis)translation that challenges ethics of translation and maintains the work of translation—especially for artist of colour who are expected to create works of translation or that translates—as a practice of fracture fraught with productive tensions that bring forth possibilities of new material, new spaces, and new practices. Embodying this expected role of an artist of colour, from here deliberately deceives a narrative for a Canadian audience on the videos of the Philippines presented. The act of translation in from here is furtive as translation is slippery and can be deceiving if taken for granted.
Ramolen Laruan (b. Manila, Philippines) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto, ON. Her artistic practice explores with a variety of medium ranging from sculpture, collage, print, photography, film, installation, and other digital work to offer new patterns of thinking about displacement, migration, politics of knowledge, notions of truth/multiple truths, memory, and remembrance. Her work has been featured in various publications and exhibited in group and travelling exhibitions across Canada and United States, and has participated in a residency in Spain. Recent solo exhibition includes still, unfolding (2020) at Zalucky Contemporary. Laruan received her BFA at Queen’s University and MFA at Western University in 2020.