‘Eclipse: a Forecast’: Light and Darkness of the Urban Landscapes

April 12, 2024

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By 

Elle Yap

Annie Pacaña’s Eclipse: a Forecast, or simply Eclipse, pursues patterns in our urbanized daily life through playing with light and sound. 

Currently showing at Gravity Art Space until April 27, Pacaña’s work here plays a lot with the imagery of the city and the idea of existing constantly in existential darkness. The work uses light as a fulcrum point of the concept, a way to showcase how humanity exists in conversation with these elements—how humanity brings light and darkness with them in their day-to-day life. 

“I use the images of the city as material and metaphor for life that breathes thru wires, and thrives in mobility, and enchanted connections,” Pacaña wrote. 

Creating a Landscape of Moving Images

Some of the works that Pacaña showcases in Eclipse is wondrous in how it reinterprets the criss-crossing stability of the urban landscape. She photographs materials we see everyday, things that bring us light in many ways, and layers them on top of each other.

One of Annie Pacaña’s works exhibited in Gravity Art Space. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of Annie Pacaña’s works exhibited in Gravity Art Space. Photo by Elle Yap.
Annie Pacaña’s "Live Wire" exhibited in Gravity Art Space. Photo by Elle Yap.
Annie Pacaña’s “Live Wire” exhibited in Gravity Art Space. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of Annie Pacaña’s works exhibited in Gravity Art Space. Photo by Elle Yap.
One of Annie Pacaña’s works exhibited in Gravity Art Space. Photo by Elle Yap.
"Talinghaga" by Annie Pacaña from an angle. Photo by Elle Yap.
“Talinghaga” by Annie Pacaña from an angle. Photo by Elle Yap.
Close-up of "Talinghaga" by Annie Pacaña. Photo by Elle Yap.
Close-up of “Talinghaga” by Annie Pacaña. Photo by Elle Yap.

Paglisan, for example, portrays the information superhighway in its most physical infrastructure. It contains wires on a post superimposed on each other, while the background contains what appears to be an underpass, the city upside down underneath it. 

It gives this feeling of the interconnectedness of city life, how we build our lives towards bringing each other together, whether through our roadways or our densely packed cities or even the internet. 

Her other exhibited work, Live Wire, plays with kaleidoscopic visions and patterns, essentially as a representation of our online presence. It’s certainly more abstract than Paglisan, but it portrays the same sense of connectivity that exists in our modern society.

Other works play with the idea of reflection and light even more than superimposing images on top of each other. There’s one work in the corner of the dark room, Talinghaga, which utilizes mirrors to create a dazzling display of light in the walls. It feels almost surreal to watch, an acknowledgement of the vivid city lights and the restlessness it gives its inhabitants. 

Finding Light Once Again

The centerpiece of the exhibit, however, is the dance film Baile, where a dancer moves in the shadow of Pacaña’s art installation Angles of Reflection. The choreography was done by Una Bighani while the film itself was scored by Joee Mejias.

The film gives life to the idea of what an eclipse means, how it’s always about multiple bodies colliding and blocking out the light they emanate, a tangle of multiple things going through and by each other. Pacaña acknowledges that the fact that it was a collaboration creates deeper meaning to her theme of “eclipse.”

Frames from "Baile" containing "Angles of Reflection." Photo by Elle Yap.
Frames from “Baile” containing “Angles of Reflection.” Photo by Elle Yap.
The dance film "Baile" with the dancer in view. Photo by Elle Yap.
The dance film “Baile” with the dancer in view. Photo by Elle Yap.
Frames from "Baile" containing "Angles of Reflection." Photo by Elle Yap.
Frames from “Baile” containing “Angles of Reflection.” Photo by Elle Yap.

“I acknowledge shared creativity through collaborations with other artists as beautiful entanglements that nurture my art practice and well-being,” she wrote. “It is a dance of light and shadow with precise timing that transpires and transforms into serenity.” 

Eclipse feels otherworldly in how it tackles our urban spaces. It whizzes through the spectacle of the concrete and stone, and grounds itself on how we live with others. Pacaña portrays humanity in bigger, broader structures, and how that affects who we are, and who we become to others.

Related reading: World’s Most Twisted Tower, ‘Dance of Light’ Has Been Unveiled in China

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