It seems that the year 2013 has no plans of giving my heart a tranquil moment. From the events of a few months ago, I've now been given all sorts of pleasant news and things to look forward to. First, the nanny that raised me as a child has finally given birth to a daughter. She's forty-five years old and, being that age, her pregnancy was riddled with complications. But the baby's safe now and so is she, a lot of other worse things awaited them if they hadn't taken precaution and listened to my mother's advice. My mama, on the other hand, feels ambivalent about this piece of news. She worries about my nanny's health and financial status. She also worries about the child, for many reasons, some strongly implied with my nanny's age and her status in life. She is married, but if one's to take the long view, being with a husband doesn't really assure anything.
The other things I've mentioned in my previous entry. Despite the difficult tasks ahead of me, I'm pleased that I'm still able to produce some works. Although, I ought to note that "Silk Black", as a matter of fact, wasn't able to make it to the official first anthology of Poems Underwater. Then again, the editors of the site were generous enough to let my work "see the light of day" through a cursory plug in their blog.
I've also mentioned my thesis, of which I'm very (very, very, very...) excited. The study I've chosen to conduct is about the city as subject matter for contemporary women artists in the Philippines. The inspiration came from last February when I saw an exhibit at the Ateneo Art Gallery, "You Have Every Right". It featured works about the city by contemporary women artists. The question that have arisen from my thoughts are simple enough: "How do women imagine the city?" and "If they had a choice of how they want the city to appear, how would they go about in organizing and planning it?" With this, I wish to examine the creative processes of women artists creating works about the city. To further this point, I also wish to look at the newly sprung theory of geo-humanities and how urban geography influences the creative process of women artists.
I've also mentioned before, I think, of my fascination with space, beginning with my love for Gaston Bachelard's book Poetics of Space which explores the, well, poetics of the home. The home as the universe for a child, the most expansive and yet nurturing place. This fascination was further ignited when I joined a writing workshop which involved walking around a certain district in the city. There, I was acquainted with Le Corbusier's When the Cathedrals Were White. And, much later in my year long study of the topic, I came across Walter Benjamin's The Arcades Project.
But all this literature (and, indeed, a bulk of the "art about the city" during the 20th century) was all done by men. All the past cities--- the Agoras of the Greeks, the medieval towns, all the metropolis of the Near East and North Africa ---had been imagined by men and were designed according to what needs they thought the city should cater to. And those designs were, specifically in the design of the Agora, centered on the needs and interests of males! I don't wish to be a feminist. I don't think I want to. Not a genteel kind and certainly not the seething kind. I know my own strengths and weaknesses. I simply will write my honest observation and appraisal of the situation. If this is what I see as wrong, then I might as well say it. Then think up of some suggestion for it.
With the study, I wish to debunk the idea that women's art only center on the body, the natural environment (we can count urban space as an environment too so we must make distinctions), and the home. I found this particularly jarring for my personal loves, since I've always vouched for Bachelard's poetic philosophies about the home, Le Corbusier's sermons, and Benjamin's daydreams. But, I also recognized the need to innovate and this departure from the comforts of poetic home-space formed by my European males is the price of that innovation. I want to imagine a city created by the hands of women, a city formed by art (not commerce and politics), art formed by the city.
I wish to say more, in my excessive excitement, but I suppose this should be all for now. I haven't even written a single text for the thesis itself.