Images appear to float in mist and gold in Mario de Rivera’s works, as if appearing directly from a stream of consciousness, they appear in a seeming snapshot of a flux: a moment frozen in all its eternity.  The body of work presented in Palace of Memory, his 26th solo exhibition at Art Lounge Manila, still have these qualities, but with the addition of being presented on seemingly folded surfaces, which can be related to Gilles Deleuze’s take on the idea of our subjectivity represented in the image of a fold – the seemingly dichotomous body and soul creating it, being two sides of an actual unitary fold of subjectivity.  Sensing, analyzing, understanding, articulating, enjoying, remembering, contemplating, creating, and the whole gamut of activities associated with being, can be thus understood as the project and the product of infinite folding by the subject and its interaction with the world; constituting not just being, but also consciousness and identity; and consequently, difference, thought, and possibility.  In this exhibit, De Rivera focuses on subconscious overarching connections between time and place, between memory and potentiality, between the world and the soul.

Palace of Memory is a reprise of his 1994 exhibition at the Ayala Museum.  It bookends a twentyfive-year period of other solo and group exhibitions presented here and elsewhere in the world.  It also creates a fold between the years for the person behind the art.  As a reprise, it is both refrain and recapitulation.  It is both continuation of a past, and its renewal.  The works presented take us back to China, a place where the artist has worked in for a significant number of years: informing his work with the material, history, and culture of a civilization that has continued for more than five thousand years.  De Rivera recalls how, as a young man, he took everything in – the Forbidden City, the Imperial Treasures, the stories of the dynasties which formed the sleeping dragon which now awakes and makes the world tremble as it wraps itself around it.  The works, steeped in mystery and romance, show us both connection and inspiration, past and future, here and there; conflated in the hazy mist of stream of consciousness.  It unifies seemingly disparate elements, in the manner of the fold: keeping them distinct, and yet part of the wondrous whole in the infinite folds of the artist’s unfathomable subjectivity. 

Mario de Rivera’s “PALACE OF MEMORY” opens on September 10, 2019, Tuesday 6pm and runs until September 24, 2019.  For inquiries, please visit Art Lounge Manila, Ground Floor, The Podium 12 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City or you may call Mitch Barasan 09778398971 and Vhel Silvestre 09175074493.

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