Ex Nilalang is a cumulative moving image project by Australian-Filipino collective Club Ate, founded by multidisciplinary video and performance artists, Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra. Three episodes were created in 2015 and ACMI and Blacktown Arts Centre have co-commissioned the fourth for Asia TOPA, Melbourne and Balik Bayan, Sydney.
Ex Nilalang reimagines urban mythologies and traditional Filipino folklore as narratives of resistance and celebration. The work seeks to transform existing Filipino mythologies that were once used to demonise queer identities by colonial powers. ‘Nilalang’, which means both ‘to create’ and ‘creature’, describes the work’s transformation of existing mythologies and its imagining of future folklore. The artists draw from their own narratives, lived experiences and personal relationships to forge new connections between queer, migrant, spiritual and intercultural experiences.
This latest video portrait a collaboration with Tristan Jalleh with a score by Corin Ileto, will also screen alongside the first three episodes Balud, Dyesebel and Lolo ex Machina in ACMI’s cinemas as part of its regular ART+FILMprogram on Wednesday 1 March at 6:30pm, followed by a conversation with Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra.
On Thursday 2 March, Justin and Bhenji will host Club Ate, a hybrid party event featuring live performances, video work and music.
The name OO pronounced “oh- oh” is a formalist expression emphasizing sight by the resemblance of the double Os to a pair of eyes wide open. The two O’s allegorise the opening of oculi to see and the enabling of awareness of one’s place within a greater ecology. This sense of perception evokes the state of sensual awareness that makes an individual comprehend their interconnectedness to the cosmos.
Its weight heaves like the oxen and rhino, marks imprinting as it traverses terrain. It is difficult to classify this creature as terrestrial, aquatic or aerial for it exists on multiple plains. Oscillating between quadrupedal and bipedal ambulation OO strides, glides and swims through its environment.
It is a mnemonic beast, in that traces of the memory of landform, flora and fauna are aggregated into its many distinctive features. Great fins extend out from its legs, and arms. These vanes operate simultaneously as wings, floatation devices and signaling plates. Well known for its ability to transform into 101 shapes OO folds and twists these plates into a succession of arrangements becoming concurrently crustacean, fungus, mountain and manta ray.
The River of the Underworld meanders beneath the clouds of capitalist distraction, digging below architecture, excavating soil, travelling down roots, through rabbit warrens, slabs of fossil and mineral, penetrating the crust and mantle, magma and ancient primordial machinations. This tributary flows in multiple planes, connecting physical and metaphysical worlds. Decaying carcasses become the boats for those recently passed as these rivers permeate the terrestrial plane ferrying the spirits to OO’s native river.
I was commissioned by Forward Assembly to create a performance for the opening of SFW Hong Kong. The exhibition curated by Robin Peckham features 20 contemporary artists from across the globe, SFW (Safe for Work?/ So F**king What) seeks to bring together a range of different genres and thrust them into the eyes of the Hong Kong viewer.
Club Ate's (Justin Shoulder & Bhenji Ra) collaborative film Ex Nilalang is also being screened as part of the exhibition.
Scenography by Laurent Segretier
SFW is produced by FORWARD ASSEMBLY (www.forwardassembly.com) – creative platform founded by Wing Shya and Yvette Tang
8:30PM FILM SCREENING 短片展映
10:00PM AFTERPARTY 派对
Featuring ELI OSHEYACK
FREE ENTRY / 免费入场
“We can keep from a child all knowledge of earlier myths, but we cannot take from him/her the need for mythology.”
- Carl Jung
For the 10th edition of CINEMQ, we delve into MYTH: stories of the ancient’s with a queer thread to here and now. Like Ariadne, we seek the beast, twisting loss through the labirynth. We are inflected by the fear of being stripped off a myth, and a lifetime outside of it.
From contemporary reimagination of the classical Greek myth of Endymion, 70s psychedelic erotica, Oscar Wilde’s short stories, to pop music videos that opt for liberating alternatives, CINEMQ is back at Shelter for a night of private myths and public dreams, a collective yearning for our own history and futurity.
Look back, gaze ahead. Queer futurity awaits in myths of our own making.
CINEMQ is a queer short film screening + party series. It is run by a group of queers with too much on their mind to sit still for long. They pull together the filthy and gorgeous of queer world cinema once a month, an eclectic mixtape of short films, visuals and music. Walls are our screens. Rooftops and basements are our cinemas. Queer is our purpose.