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Now that “Shoal” and the rest of Tie A String Around the World has safely returned from successfully representing the Philippines at the Venice Biennale in 2014—it’s sitting comfortably at the Vargas Museum in UP—Jose Tence Ruiz can get busy doing other things.


And busy he’s become. He is among the 10 artists who will hold a special exhibit at the 5th edition of Art Fair Philippines. “Langue Lounge” is his multi-layered installation project to be debuted at the fair. It’s “a massive structure playing on scale and one’s ideas of consumption and pleasure,” writes Kaye O’Yek in Manila Bulletin, where she also calls it a “conversation piece.”

A set of 14 hefty, wooden electric chairs—complete with blinders and footrests—accompany the main installation centerpiece. Guests are welcome to sit on the plush red velvet seats, which should be an interesting experience to say the least.

Art Fair Philippines calls “Langue Lounge” a “meditation upon the current debate on the death penalty, [where] religious and satirical elements are cleverly intertwined in a monstrous and surreal setting that tempts the viewer to experience a problematic concept, thus bringing a darkly looming possibility into the horizon of the real world.”


“When you sit on the electric chair, you are sitting in a place with structure,” Ruiz tells Manila Bulletin. “If you don’t like it, go to a place where there is no structure. You have to make your choices. You have to rest. Whether people see the contradictions or not, it’s just a soda, a fundamental shape in your home, and it’s comfortable to sit down and think about while relaxing in the Art Fair. It’s what art is. It’s everything to everybody.”

Art Fair Philippines is from Feb 16-19, at The Link Carpark, Makati.

[Manila Bulletin; Photo: Pinggot Zulueta]


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