In 2017, Jason Dy, SJ did a project as fulfillment of his art residency coordinated by Perahu Art Connection and Project Space Pilipinas. Titled TAK SATUPUN (Not One Less), the culmination was a collaborative art performance at Makam Seniman Giri Sapto, which is an artists’ cemetery in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It was an action to remember the victims of Extra-Judicial Killings (EJK) in the Philippines. In ritual and in performance, the artist highlights time and space and what is presented here is an iteration that crossed cultures and geography.

Time. We live in a time of war. Encapsulated in the performance shown in the video is a series of rituals: a floral offering, a prayer on top of the hill, and the liberation of caged birds. To recreate it, elements are present here to make time more evident, even tactile. The eventual drying of the flowers and the maturation of the chicks represent the durational characteristic of ritual and performance, weaving both actions into one. Each one element in the exhibition carries with it potent meanings like a person’s story we are now too familiar with: pleas for justice, commemoration of life lived, and the task of personal reflexivity in the midst of this bloodbath.

Space. We need space for collective remembrance and healing. This exhibition builds for us an environment for contemplation. The artist taps on the potential of ritual as an activity that shows “opposition to a problematic social structure.[1]” Acting as both artist and priest, Dy alternates his roles for a transformative process therefore using art not just as a response or substitute, but pushes it towards being a spiritual experience to blur the boundaries of the two. Our immersion to the plotted symbols challenges us to transform ourselves to move our society away from oppressive conditions.

Con Cabrera

[1] Victor Turner speaks of ritual as "redressive activity that concretizes their opposition to problematic social structure." (Alexander, 1991: 83)

* The exhibit at the Project Space Pilipinas (PSP), No.6 Eleazar Street, Lucban, Quezon opened last 24 March 2018 and will run until 14 April 2018.

Two special iterations of the exhibit “Not One Less / Wala Ni Isa” are displayed as an altar of repose of the Mary the Queen Parish (MTQ Parish), Madison St., Greenhills West, San Juan City and Kristong Hari Parish, National Government Center, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City on Maundy Thursday, 29 March 2018 from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM. (AM+DG 2018)

Special Thanks to:

De Chavez Family: Leslie de Chavez, Atty. Azela de Chavez, Mr. Robert and Mrs. Vivian de Chavez; Perahu artists: Wisnuaji Putu Utama, Arif Hanung Tyas Sukardi, Febri Anugerah, Wakyu Catur Natalianto, Adha Widayansah, Iqro Ahmad Ibrahim LS, Suryadi Suyamtina, and Elka Alva Chandra; John Mark Galutera, Dyan Corachea and the PSP Team; Rofel Brion, Phd.; Martin Villanueva, Roxanne Coacuy, Carlomar Daoana, Joseph Sedfrey and the Ateneo Fine Arts Department; Boots Herrera and the Ateneo Art Gallery; Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, Fr. Patrick Falguera, SJ, Fr. Rene Javellana, SJ and Jesuit Residence Community; Kolsani Jesuit Community; Fr. Gabriel Sindhunata and Majalah UTUSAN Staff; Con Cabrera; Fr. Guy Guibelondo, SJ, Fr. Aristotle Dy, SJ, Fr. Xavier Olin, SJ, and the Mary the Queen Parish; Joel de Leon, Markvin V. Reyes, Christian Javines, Rovin Reyes, and the ADMU Physical Plant; Fr. Roland Jalaug, Jhen Garcia, and the Kristong Hari Parish Community

The video is edited by Dyan Corachea, 
script/camera 1 by Hanung Arif and Camera 2 by Widayansah Adha. 
Installation of roses led by Joel de Leon. 
Photographs courtesy of Dyan Corachea.

The 40 chicks included at the PSP exhibition have proper lighting, booster feeds, and water with anti-bacterial agents. An assigned caretaker ensures the wellbeing of the chicks for the whole duration of the exhibition and chicks are donated to her.

 In both parishes, each set-up also had the proper lighting, booster feeds, and water with anti-bacterial agents. In these parishes, the chicks are cared for during the whole duration of the Maundy Thursday liturgies and vigil from 5:00 PM to 12:00 MN. After the vigil, the chicks at MTQ Parish are donated to some families in Barasoain and Mascardo Communities while at the Kristong Hari Parish, they are donated to those who volunteered in setting up the altar of repose.