Of Ebbing And Flowing

th­e artist has been retreating.

From working in the streets to making his art inside the studio, he generated a meticulous praxis that lets him inspect his subjects further. He paints images of the city. Reinterpreting photographs of the outside with care and detail, he calculates spaces in between through instinctively cutting his signature bridges.

From bringing to life street scenes in ­at surfaces, he lets the city respond to him through contributing its dirt and grit. He paints images with the city. Reenacting his process of shooting, editing, printing and cutting, he uses urban grime to let the imageries emerge.

For Vermont Coronel Jr.’s third solo exhibition, he continues to produce works documenting his encounters when cycling around the metro. Gone Away presents to us objects instead of spaces and edi‑ces. Extensively examining the city, he expands his reportage to other discards of the dynamic metropolis. He gives attention to items he sees in the periphery and imagines a narrative behind each, a biography of the thing. He pays more attention to entities that reveal stories of their “use-life,” considering damages and geography. A rich family probably owned the chair he photographed near a residential area. The cars, ironically common abandons, might have been replaced by newer models and were relocated to free up space. The satellite dish may have been owned by the people who lived in the demolished house behind it. The open pit in EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue was a pre-structure constructed to be the foundation of a supposedly high-rise building that was never built.

Testimonies of life surrounding the artist have been streaming.

The objects featured in Coronel’s works appear to unceasingly ­flow within their social cycles by way of his multiple documentations. “There is something unsettling in the way things simply survive,” archeologist Carolyn Nakamura asserted, “through and beyond meaningful human signi‑cation, by continual deferral and deference. This is the strange life of things, animated and constrained by invisible relations and yet de‑antly autonomous in their discrete physicality. e allure of the thing lies in the way in which it can never be completed, never be fully or perfectly discovered; and it is always set in motion, propelled by human relations. In this way, the thing always exceeds its own narration.”