curated exhibition

Empire’s Eyes: Colonial Stereographs of the Philippines

Filipinos have been under intense visual scrutiny since the start of Spanish colonialism in the 16th century. It continues through to this day. 
 
With Empire's Eyes: Colonial Stereographs of the Philippines, the Center for Art and Thought has partnered with the California Museum of Photography at the University of California at Riverside ARTSblock to publish a selection of stereographic images of Filipinos and the Philippine Islands that were taken shortly after Spain ceded the islands to the US in 1898. The stereographs are a part of the largest collection of stereographic negatives and prints in the world called the Keystone-Mast Collection. 
 
The stereographs in the exhibition were meant to entertain and educate viewers through optical illusion. Using a stereoscopic device people saw the stereographic views in 3D. Stereographs of the everyday life of Filipinos did entertain and educate viewers but did so at a cost. While these quotidian images may seem benign and even boring, they were powerful in teaching Americans about Filipinos as an inferior race, as other. And, in many ways, they maintain their power to this day, archived and accessible online.
 
Empire's Eyes also does not include pictures of Filipino casualties or scenes of military battles in the islands. Those images are well documented and are often the first to reproduced whenever the American colonial period in the islands is the subject matter. These scenes of Filipino deaths and destruction obscure other forms of photography's representational violence. Images of Filipinos going on with their everyday lives-taking an afternoon nap, cooking, or even getting a haircut-were as effective as ones of wounded or dead Filipinos in conveying a people lazy, uncivilized, and alien to ordinary Americans who participated in the act of viewing stereographs with friends and families, in homes and schools throughout the country. 
 
In light of global anti-immigrant sentiments in countries raging across Europe and current debates about the undocumented, most of whom belong to communities of color and the portrayal of them as criminal and deviants by many who govern the United States, Empire's Eyes arrives at a time when issues of race and representation are as relevant as they were over a century ago. The exhibition resurfaces these everyday stereographic views to reveal not only the parallels of current visual technologies to historic ones but to ask viewers to consider the ways photography-digital or analog-continue to shape how we view and know Filipinos and other communities of color across space and time. 
 
Jan Christian Bernabe, Ph.D. 
Curatorial Director 
 
mads le 
Curatorial Assistant 
 
Spring 2018 
 
The stereographic images will be published in staggered waves from March to April 2018, after which the whole exhibition is archived permanently on CA+T's website. 
 
Special thanks to Leigh Gleason and the California Photography Museum for providing assistance for this exhibition.
 
Fiscal support has been generously provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation and the California Institute of Contemporary Arts.
 
Scholarly articles included in the exhibition are authored by Nerissa Balce, Melissa Banta, Vernadette Gonzalez, Mark Rice, and Neferti Tadiar. 
 

"Colonial Photography Across Empires and Islands"

Mark Rice

2011 Criticism 24 pages Courtesy of the Journal of Transnational American Studies

contributor

X

Mark Rice

b. 1965
image description
  • See All Works

Born and raised in the state of Washington, I have lived in New York state since 1997. I am the founding chair and a professor in the Department of American Studies at St. John Fisher College, where I’ve taught since 1998. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1988 to 1990. In 2007 I was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Can Tho University in Vietnam. I earned my Ph.D. at the University of Hawaii in 1999; my dissertation about American photography in the 1970s became my first book, Through the Lens of the City: NEA Photography Surveys of the 1970s (University Press of Mississippi, 2005). My second book, Dean Worcester’s Fantasy Islands: Photography, Film, and the Colonial Philippines (University of Michigan Press, 2014; Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2015) won the 2016 Gintong Aklat (Golden Book Award) in Social Sciences and was a finalist for the 2016 Philippine National Book Award in History. In addition to these two books, I’ve published articles in American Quarterly, Journal of Transnational American Studies, Australasian Journal of American Studies, and History of Photography (forthcoming in early 2018 as of writing this). I am a two-time recipient of the Trustees Award for Distinguished Scholarly Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by St. John Fisher College.

I’m invested in deep archival research, seeking stories that have yet to be told but that I think I can find an audience for. Current research includes an investigation into an international scientific expedition in the 1890s and the swindler who funded it.

location

X
  • Born:
  • Based:

comments

X

"Face: Necropolitics and the U.S. Imperial Photography Complex"

Nerissa Balce

2017 Criticism 46 pages Courtesy of the University of Michigan Press From Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images, and the American Archive

contributor

X

Nerissa Balce

image description
  • See All Works

Nerissa Balce was educated in the classrooms and museums of Manila and the libraries of Berkeley, California. She read feminist literature and poststructuralist theories in college and consequently ditched her plans to become a nun. She identifies as a mongrel academic – an Asian Americanist with a mixed (and questionable) pedigree: one who does a little bit of literature, theory, popular culture, diasporic and Philippine texts. If empires used various media to promote the romance of conquest, it makes sense to have an expansive approach to studying Filipino culture and the global Filipino diaspora. Her book, Body Parts of Empire: Visual Abjection, Filipino Images, and the American Archive (University of Michigan Press, 2016) "is a study of abjection in American visual culture and popular literature from the Philippine-American War (1899–1902)."

I’m a Filipino studies scholar interested in race, gender, empire and popular culture. Growing up in a Catholic culture and with the Marcos regime in power for decades, I am fascinated by the language of power, control and censorship. Individuals who grow up in post-authoritarian cultures react to power and politics in certain ways. We either accept control or violently reject it, or we negotiate with it in interesting (and sometimes silly) ways. And popular culture projects these negotiations. I think I never outgrew my interest in popular culture, whether it is from the turn of the 20th century or the early 21st century.

location

X
  • Born:
  • Based: New York, USA

comments

X

"Headhunter Itineraries: The Philippines as America’s Dream Jungle"

Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez

2009 Criticism 28 pages Courtesy of The Global South Indiana University Press

contributor

X

Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez

b. 1973

I was born in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, in the Philippines and moved to settle in upstate New York with my family in 1983, to the soundtrack of Michael Jackson's Thriller. I attended Princeton University, where, after dutifully considering a pre-med-friendly major, I ended up immersed in English literature, dance, and African American Studies, while fielding questions of "what will you do with that degree?" With the benefit of close faculty mentorship, I ended up in the University of California, Berkeley's Ethnic Studies program, which nurtured my interests in race, gender, and US cultural politics and history. My first book, Securing Paradise (2013), which looks at US militarism and tourism in Hawai'i and the Philippines, was the result of that journey. I am currently working on a couple more experimental projects: the first is a mixed-genre narrative of the life of Isabel Rosario Cooper, infamously known as Douglas MacArthur's mistress. The other is a co-edited decolonial guide to Hawai'i. In these projects, I pursue what it means to unsettle power from the position of the margins.

location

X
  • Born: Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, Philippines
  • Based: Honolulu, HI, USA

comments

X

A "Tom Sharkey" of Luzon. P.I.

California Museum of Photography

1898 - 1930 Stereographic Print Dimensions vary Courtesy of the UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside Keystone-Mast Collection

contributor

X

California Museum of Photography

image description
  • See All Works
  • facebook
  • visit website

UCR/California Museum of Photography, a facility of ARTSblock, "provides a cultural presence, educational resource, community center, and intellectual meeting ground for the university and the general public. The museum's explorations of photographic media through exhibition, collection, publication, and the web examine the history of photography and showcase current practice in photography and related media. To serve an audience that is multicultural, young and old, general and specialized, the museum presents programs that recognize the variety and complexity of cultural experience and explore the relationship between traditional expression and contemporary practice. The museum is vitally concerned with the intersection of photography, new imaging media, and society. Located off campus in downtown Riverside, UCR/CMP is committed to bringing the most challenging art to the widest possible audience. 
 
"UCR students from across the university are involved in every aspect of the museum's program from curatorial research through collections management to exhibition installation and administration. CMP and the other ARTSblock's entities offer many opportunities for professional museum work and students are involved under the aegis of independent course status, internships, work-study, and as volunteers. Still other students utilize CMP as a library-like resource or as a site for art production and experimentation" (CMP homepage).
 
If you need more detailed information regarding the CMP collections please contact the Curator of Collections at cmpcollections@ucr.edu.

location

X
  • Born: Riverside, CA, USA
  • Based: Riverside, CA, USA

comments

X

A Filipino Home Near Manila

California Museum of Photography

1898 - 1930 Stereographic print Dimensions vary Courtesy of the UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside Keystone-Mast Collection

contributor

X

California Museum of Photography

image description
  • See All Works
  • facebook
  • visit website

UCR/California Museum of Photography, a facility of ARTSblock, "provides a cultural presence, educational resource, community center, and intellectual meeting ground for the university and the general public. The museum's explorations of photographic media through exhibition, collection, publication, and the web examine the history of photography and showcase current practice in photography and related media. To serve an audience that is multicultural, young and old, general and specialized, the museum presents programs that recognize the variety and complexity of cultural experience and explore the relationship between traditional expression and contemporary practice. The museum is vitally concerned with the intersection of photography, new imaging media, and society. Located off campus in downtown Riverside, UCR/CMP is committed to bringing the most challenging art to the widest possible audience. 
 
"UCR students from across the university are involved in every aspect of the museum's program from curatorial research through collections management to exhibition installation and administration. CMP and the other ARTSblock's entities offer many opportunities for professional museum work and students are involved under the aegis of independent course status, internships, work-study, and as volunteers. Still other students utilize CMP as a library-like resource or as a site for art production and experimentation" (CMP homepage).
 
If you need more detailed information regarding the CMP collections please contact the Curator of Collections at cmpcollections@ucr.edu.

location

X
  • Born: Riverside, CA, USA
  • Based: Riverside, CA, USA

comments

X

A Little Fishermaid of Cavite, PI (1929)

California Museum of Photography

1898 - 1930 Stereographic Print Dimensions vary Courtesy of the UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside Keystone-Mast Collection

contributor

X

California Museum of Photography

image description
  • See All Works
  • facebook
  • visit website

UCR/California Museum of Photography, a facility of ARTSblock, "provides a cultural presence, educational resource, community center, and intellectual meeting ground for the university and the general public. The museum's explorations of photographic media through exhibition, collection, publication, and the web examine the history of photography and showcase current practice in photography and related media. To serve an audience that is multicultural, young and old, general and specialized, the museum presents programs that recognize the variety and complexity of cultural experience and explore the relationship between traditional expression and contemporary practice. The museum is vitally concerned with the intersection of photography, new imaging media, and society. Located off campus in downtown Riverside, UCR/CMP is committed to bringing the most challenging art to the widest possible audience. 
 
"UCR students from across the university are involved in every aspect of the museum's program from curatorial research through collections management to exhibition installation and administration. CMP and the other ARTSblock's entities offer many opportunities for professional museum work and students are involved under the aegis of independent course status, internships, work-study, and as volunteers. Still other students utilize CMP as a library-like resource or as a site for art production and experimentation" (CMP homepage).
 
If you need more detailed information regarding the CMP collections please contact the Curator of Collections at cmpcollections@ucr.edu.

location

X
  • Born: Riverside, CA, USA
  • Based: Riverside, CA, USA

comments

X

A Visayan Family, Cebu, PI

California Museum of Photography

1898 - 1930 Stereographic Print Dimensions vary Courtesy of the UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside Keystone-Mast Collection

contributor

X

California Museum of Photography

image description
  • See All Works
  • facebook
  • visit website

UCR/California Museum of Photography, a facility of ARTSblock, "provides a cultural presence, educational resource, community center, and intellectual meeting ground for the university and the general public. The museum's explorations of photographic media through exhibition, collection, publication, and the web examine the history of photography and showcase current practice in photography and related media. To serve an audience that is multicultural, young and old, general and specialized, the museum presents programs that recognize the variety and complexity of cultural experience and explore the relationship between traditional expression and contemporary practice. The museum is vitally concerned with the intersection of photography, new imaging media, and society. Located off campus in downtown Riverside, UCR/CMP is committed to bringing the most challenging art to the widest possible audience. 
 
"UCR students from across the university are involved in every aspect of the museum's program from curatorial research through collections management to exhibition installation and administration. CMP and the other ARTSblock's entities offer many opportunities for professional museum work and students are involved under the aegis of independent course status, internships, work-study, and as volunteers. Still other students utilize CMP as a library-like resource or as a site for art production and experimentation" (CMP homepage).
 
If you need more detailed information regarding the CMP collections please contact the Curator of Collections at cmpcollections@ucr.edu.

location

X
  • Born: Riverside, CA, USA
  • Based: Riverside, CA, USA

comments

X

A Well-To-Do Home in the Rice Fields, Philippine Islands

California Museum of Photography

1898 - 1930 Stereographic Print Dimensions vary Courtesy of the UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside Keystone-Mast Collection

contributor

X

California Museum of Photography

image description
  • See All Works
  • facebook
  • visit website

UCR/California Museum of Photography, a facility of ARTSblock, "provides a cultural presence, educational resource, community center, and intellectual meeting ground for the university and the general public. The museum's explorations of photographic media through exhibition, collection, publication, and the web examine the history of photography and showcase current practice in photography and related media. To serve an audience that is multicultural, young and old, general and specialized, the museum presents programs that recognize the variety and complexity of cultural experience and explore the relationship between traditional expression and contemporary practice. The museum is vitally concerned with the intersection of photography, new imaging media, and society. Located off campus in downtown Riverside, UCR/CMP is committed to bringing the most challenging art to the widest possible audience. 
 
"UCR students from across the university are involved in every aspect of the museum's program from curatorial research through collections management to exhibition installation and administration. CMP and the other ARTSblock's entities offer many opportunities for professional museum work and students are involved under the aegis of independent course status, internships, work-study, and as volunteers. Still other students utilize CMP as a library-like resource or as a site for art production and experimentation" (CMP homepage).
 
If you need more detailed information regarding the CMP collections please contact the Curator of Collections at cmpcollections@ucr.edu.

location

X
  • Born: Riverside, CA, USA
  • Based: Riverside, CA, USA

comments

X

A Well-To-Do Home in the Rice Fields, Philippine Islands

California Museum of Photography

1898 - 1930 Stereographic Print Dimensions vary Courtesy of the UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside Keystone-Mast Collection

contributor

X

California Museum of Photography

image description
  • See All Works
  • facebook
  • visit website

UCR/California Museum of Photography, a facility of ARTSblock, "provides a cultural presence, educational resource, community center, and intellectual meeting ground for the university and the general public. The museum's explorations of photographic media through exhibition, collection, publication, and the web examine the history of photography and showcase current practice in photography and related media. To serve an audience that is multicultural, young and old, general and specialized, the museum presents programs that recognize the variety and complexity of cultural experience and explore the relationship between traditional expression and contemporary practice. The museum is vitally concerned with the intersection of photography, new imaging media, and society. Located off campus in downtown Riverside, UCR/CMP is committed to bringing the most challenging art to the widest possible audience. 
 
"UCR students from across the university are involved in every aspect of the museum's program from curatorial research through collections management to exhibition installation and administration. CMP and the other ARTSblock's entities offer many opportunities for professional museum work and students are involved under the aegis of independent course status, internships, work-study, and as volunteers. Still other students utilize CMP as a library-like resource or as a site for art production and experimentation" (CMP homepage).
 
If you need more detailed information regarding the CMP collections please contact the Curator of Collections at cmpcollections@ucr.edu.

location

X
  • Born: Riverside, CA, USA
  • Based: Riverside, CA, USA

comments

X