Roberto Chabet and Nilo Ilarde
“50 Years of Chabet” is a tribute to Roberto Chabet, a pioneering Filipino conceptual artist and a key figure in Philippine contemporary art.
Since the 1960s, Chabet has been producing avant-garde works which foreground idea over form. Also a curator, he has organized many exhibitions of contemporary art, mostly by artists who were his students at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Fine Arts. He was also the first museum director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and initiated the prestigious Thirteen Artists Award, which gives recognition to outstanding young artists. Chabet’s work questions fixed notions about art, meaning and modernity.
The third to the last series of exhibitions commemorating the 50 years of Chabet’s work as artist, curator and teacher, “Tabo,” features a video installation inspired by Jose Rizal’s “El Filibusterismo.” A first for Chabet, the video installation commemorates Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary and becomes a metaphor for the ephemeralities in culture, history and everyday life.
Alongside this are Pablo Biglang-awa’s “DIY Chabet” videos that show the process of art making reduced to a step-by-step, connect-the-dots, paint-by-numbers exercise.