The Interrogation of Maria Clara

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Exploring new directions in the integration of popular art and culture with renditions of literary archetypes, painter Aileen Lanuza reaches the intersections of Filipinana, pop aesthetics, interest in the silver screen and feminism in her intriguing new series.

In The Interrogation of Maria Clara, showing at Galerie Joaquin , opening Thursday, August 8, 2013 at 6 p.m., the titular painting is in the guise of a movie poster (complete with the laurel-surrounded text announcing awards garnered), setting the overall tone of an attempted discourse. The passive and feminine Maria Clara – long a symbol of the chastity of the Filipina – is culled from Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and passed through the prism of Lanuza’s own vision of femininity. Thus appropriated, she is then considered another pop cultural trope as opposed to a national archetype and is treated accordingly in the modern medium of film, alongside other “heroes” of the medium - including animated characters and film stars.

But why is the fragile and revered Maria Clara being the subject of an interrogation in the first place. In this show, artist Aileen Lanuza presents twelve paintings which allows the viewer to answer the question himself and to weave his own story. Lanuza investigates this fixation with Maria Clara as she presents her own concern for the silver screen, Hollywood, and even icons of Filipino movies mixed with favorite Disney characters.

Lanuza herself is far from inexperienced in such forays. She has long experimented with placing the female form in pop cultural contexts – Catwoman, for instance – and has a conceptually surrealist series using the archetypal image of Maria Clara. As she progressed in her practice, she began to strip the contexts from her figurations and presented women in postures that indicated sensual femininity, throughout which she displays a remarkable affinity for hyperrealism as an aesthetic style.

The exhibit runs from August 8-16, 2013 at Galerie Joaquin, located at 371 P. Guevarra Street corner Montessori Lane, Addition Hills, San Juan City. They may be reached through their landline at (632) 723-9418 or email at

Please visit their website at

Galerie Joaquin
371 P. Guevarra St., cor. Montessori Lane, Addition Hills
San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Thursday August 8, 2013 - Friday August 16, 2013

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