12.07.2019 - 14.09.2019
xE – Exhibition room of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna,
Eschenbachgasse 11, 1010 Vienna

Artists: Abdul Sharif Baruwa, Cana Bilir-Meier, Juliana Borinski, Guillermo Gómez-Peña & Balitronica Gómez (La Pocha Nostra), Verena Melgarejo Weinandt, Stephanie Misa, Érika Ordosgoitti

Curated by: Mariel Rodríguez

Eye ( i ) Ei is an installation composed of a 2-channel video, 2 metal frames, a drapped textile, a wind machine, and two plaster eye sculptures. Eye ( i ) Ei is a part of the exhibition “Field Within” at the Xhibit Space, 14 July- 14 September 2019, Eschenbachgasse 11, 1010, Vienna.

How did the word the for eye (mata) and king (hari), in my mother tongue, end up meaning sun (matahari) in someone else’s? Fijian anthropologist, Epeli Hau’ofa writes that the pre-colonial world was one “in which people and cultures moved and mingled, unhindered by boundaries of the kind erected much later by imperial powers.” Maritime flows have historically been of central importance in the constitution of cultural identities, evidenced in the way ethno-linguistic groups in the archipelago (of the Philippines) do not map with particular islands, but rather, with particular maritime regions.
The maritime regions I am marrying in this spectral tracing of horizons are Jogjakarta and my homeland of Cebu, where the eye becomes king, and “I” (myself), a yellow yolk of egg.

Matahari in my memory was a spy. A french woman, no, she was dutch, no, a dancer with no past but just a name: Mata Hari (like the eye of dawn) borne of the Dutch East Indies and summoned in Malang, Java. She was an agent— a double agent, code named H-21 who worked for the Germans and the French, selling secrets of promises, and lies, and parlour gossip— Mata Hari, Greta Garbo, Margaretha Zelle— a fiction of her own making, built upon the exotic otherness of the Indies,
and propelled towards an embodiment just as complex. matahari, sinar matahari, surya, an orb, bola, orbit, bulatan, matahari, bulan, sol, a day star, matahari, a titan, a king, hari, heliacal, helios, the sun, the moon, the round of your eye, mata.

It is many things to many people,
this orb that sees all,
the panopticon—
a god,
a lord,
a spy,
a woman.

Photo Credits: Lisa Rastl & Claudia Sandoval Romero
photo: Lisa Rastl
photo: Lisa Rastl
photo: Claudia Sandoval Romero
photo: Claudia Sandoval Romero
photo: Claudia Sandoval Romero
photo: Lisa Rastl
photo: Claudia Sandoval Romero
photo: Lisa Rastl
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