Para Site International Conference 2018 - The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders: Reconstruction as Democratic Gesture

Abad, Pio. 2018. 'Para Site International Conference 2018 - The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders: Reconstruction as Democratic Gesture'. In: Para Site International Conference 2018: What to Let Go?. Tai Kwun - Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hong Kong 22 - 24 November 2018. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

This talk was delivered as part of the Para Site International Conference 2018, entitled 'What to Let Go.' The conference was organised by the Hong Kong non-profit organisation Para Site and looks at the tangled theme of heritage, issues of historical impunity and repatriation of artefacts.

Pio Abad's paper, The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders:
Reconstruction as Democratic Gesture, focuses on the artist’s ongoing project entitled The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders, which draws attention to the roles that certain artefacts have played in the unfolding history of the Philippines; specifically, the conjugal dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. In focusing on objects that shaped the couple’s cultural legacy, Abad points to the inconsistencies and incongruities inherent to their history - from the postcolonial ideology they enforced under the auspices of Western democracies to ongoing revisionist attempts to rehabilitate their regime. The title is in reference to the Marcoses’ looting of the Philippine treasury aided by the Western banking system. Jane Ryan and William Saunders were the false identities the couple used to open four bank accounts at Credit Suisse Zurich in 1968.

The art historian Patrick Flores uses the term ‘democratic gesture’ in relation to the Marcoses’ patronage of the avant-garde, weaponising its progressive aesthetics to promote ideas of ethno-modernity and development amidst a background of brutality and corruption. The Collection of Jane Ryan & William Saunders seeks to subvert and sustain this gesture. Sourcing from auction catalogues, museum archives, and government records, Abad has reproduced objects from the Marcos’ lavish collection of commissioned portraits, jewellery, and Old Master paintings - allowing access to an inventory that has remained invisible and performing an act of historical accountability that has remained elusive.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Art

Dates:

DateEvent
27 August 2018Accepted
24 November 2018Published

Event Location:

Tai Kwun - Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hong Kong

Date range:

22 - 24 November 2018

Item ID:

27739

Date Deposited:

11 Dec 2019 14:50

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:23

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27739

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