“Perspectives 164: Stephanie Syjuco: Total Fabrications”

History is remade, reformed and reworded at CAMH’s latest exhibit

Stephanie Syjuco dabbled in forgery for “Perspectives 164: Stephanie Syjuco: Total Fabrications” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. In the installation The Berlin Wall, she displays chunks of found rock in glass cases as if they were a part of the iconic structure. Each counterfeit chunk is labeled “The Berlin Wall,” with a parenthetical explanation of where it was actually found such as “February 18, 2008, San Francisco, CA.” “I see this project as a way to try to revisit and rethink the promise of that moment [when the wall was torn down], and attempt to find it in the everyday objects that surround me,” Syjuco says.

In another installation, Towards a New Color Reading Theory, Syjuco re-creates three newspapers from Houston that target different ethnicities — -African-American, Latin American and Filipino-American. “The information within those specific ethnic journals is usually so specific to the community that they’re speaking to. You know, both addressing specific issues and problems within that community,” she says. “But as an outsider approaching the newspaper, sometimes it’s difficult to access.” Syjuco replaces the newspapers’ text with blocks of yellow color and images with blocks of blue — essentially homogenizing them.

Her three-channel video installation Body Doubleshows how history is restaged. Each screen shows edited scenes from the films Platoon, Apocalypse Now and Hamburger Hill. All three focus on the Vietnam War, and each was shot in the Philippines.

Syjuco gives a gallery talk at today’s opening reception from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The exhibit runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through February 22. 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713-284-8250 or visit www.camh.org. Free.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 12. Continues through Feb. 22, 2008

 
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