"Aba Bababa Ba?" -  Mark Anthony Bardinas & Jobert Cruz

Sept 2 - 21 (extended) , 2017

It is crucial for human beings to communicate in every way we can, from spoken words, gestures or body language, sign language, and other forms of conventional signals, so that we can comprehend what others are trying to convey.  Language is a complex system of communication that is unique in every community or nation. It is present even in the animal kingdom although we have a much more composite range of expressions that we use much more effectively and through the help of our facial expressions. Mankind’s principal form of medium are words which is either spoken or written. It is easy and flexible. But words are sometimes complicated. Sometimes they mean what they mean, or, sometimes it doesn’t literally mean what is said. Also, there are times when they mean the opposite of what is said, and sometimes it doesn’t mean anything at all. Who knows? But that now falls under the intention of the speaker which is another topic to be discussed.

A man, a plan, a canal - Panama! Live on time, emit no evil. Or something archaic, Nipson anomemata me monan opsin (Wash the sin as well as the face). These are palindromes, a word, phrase, verse, or sentence that reads the same backward or forward. In “Aba bababa ba?”, Mark Bardinas and Jobert Cruz used the concept of this word play in representing life’s veracity. In Jobert Cruz’ works minimal elements constitute against a dark background emphasizing the adjoining images that is similar but different in form, position, or action. His works are like the two sides of the coin, both sides physically exists but faces alternate planes. In his work where the other half of a gun’s barrel remains stationary vs the gun that discharged a bullet connotates the negativity of one’s own actions are. Imagine a person holding that gun, “Should I shoot it or not?”. It delves on the consequences of one’s action and how things can be irreversible at some point. Meanwhile, Mark Bardinas’ works jumps from something minimal to something that looks almost full but not entirely. In a world of endless cycle of bad decisions his works concentrates on the repetitive aftermath of those repetitive bad actions and how some convictions no matter how overelaborate it is is still bad and will still lead to a notable disaster. In “Party trap” a dog can be seen presumably chasing its tail. It delineates man’s idiocy towards monotonous deeds that leads to nowhere, a negative trait especially when one learns nothing.

“Aba bababa ba?” questions the habitual repetition of a person’s action mostly inclined to its negative aspect. Like a palindrome no matter how much a person flips an erroneous action despite one’s belief that it is correct (for the sake of proving himself/herself correct) that action is still wrong. Their works also justifies that the same recurring feats and choices makes a man dull.  Cruz and Bardinas translated those palindromes into visual images that would make its viewers reflect perhaps on some past bad deeds or maybe, hopefully, before doing something unpleasant in the future.  

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