ND LAWRENCE SUMULONG
LAWRENCE SUMULONG // Trapo
‘Trapo’ began as a collection of political posters and scenes that I found in the Philippines. Taking an iconoclastic approach and engaging in the practice of damnatio memoriae, I am presenting images of deterioration as a means of revealing an entrenched feeling of distrust towards a historically corrupt political system.
Understood in the context of the recent 2016 Philippine presidential elections, this series visually represents the country and its candidates' cultural amnesia and perverse revisionism in regards to the 12 year violent dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and the corruption ridden track records of subsequent politicians and presidents.
To that end, I shot the images digitally, processed and printed them with expired Polaroid 600 and SX-70 film, and lifted the emulsions onto recycled, unbleached paper stock made in the Philippines. The title takes its name from the Tagalog word for a torn cleaning rag or a crooked politician.
The quotations usually provided are excerpts from 'Towards the New Society' by Ferdinand Marcos and 'TAO: Humanism at work in Filipino Society' by Imelda Marcos, which are two foundational pieces of propaganda published by the Marcos regime. The rhetoric sounds progressive and perhaps resonant of current Filipino political platforms, but are included as a reminder of the hypocrisy of that time.