sa ilog, nagtatagpo
How do we say goodbye to the dearly departed? The departed self? Through art-making, Eunice Sanchez creates against decay, navigating memory into a spiritual dimension through objects that join together our lives and others. By giving substance to various media, she infuses life into a river ritual, a necessary custom from the artist’s hometown in La Union province. Despite persistence of Christian traditions, loss is processed through the pre-colonial rite, involving the shedding of worn clothes and immersing where the freshwater convenes with the sea. While this ritual of passing is practiced often, for Sanchez it becomes not quantifiable, but a revelation.
Sanchez responds with paper in petri dishes, pressing the skin of tree barks and portions of the water, mingling fragments of eyes and lips. The surfaces are laid out on a vessel akin to a coffin. The process of memory-keeping extends into framed permutations, cyanotypes unique to Sanchez’s practice that shows textures of soil, emulating the grand flux of nature that magnifies a sense of humility and smallness. Agpakada (To Ask Permission) crosses over with stop–motion images of an abrupt, vigil-like dream: a forest, flora, a girl giving premission to bid goodbye guiltlessly. Throughout Sa Ilog Nagtatagpo (On Rivers Trysting), Sanchez responds to loss with the questions: What right do we have to forget? And ultimately, what do we owe to each other’s memories?
Angela Singian and Eunice Sanchez