https://griffinmuseum.org/show/jr_fieldnotes/ The Griffin Museum of Photography
67 Shore Rd
Winchester, Massachusetts 01890
Art, Innovation, Shows
In an 1895 photograph from the University of Michigan Philippine archives, a smiling Filipina faces the camera, posing in front of lush tropical trees with a hand on her hip. The bottom half of her body is wrapped in an intricate tapestry, and the top half of her body is naked, except for beaded necklaces. Written into the photograph is the title “Young Ifugao Belle, 382.” This image is just one of thousands of photographs taken by American colonizers who were eager to create a narrative of white saviorism and thus shape the way Americans perceived the Philippines throughout the twentieth century.
I am a Filipino-American photographer and artist, and I have been creating mixed-media photocollages based upon archival images from the American colonial period in the Philippines for my project titled Field Notes. By physically cutting, pasting, and rearranging various elements of images upon images, I aim to deconstruct and critique the colonial gaze, while attempting to reclaim the photographic narrative. In some collages, the cut patterns reference textile-makers across the Philippine archipelago, while in other collages, shapes and silhouettes allude to a problematic colonial past.
Field Notes is a meditation upon the long, complex relationships between the Philippines and the United States, anthropology and photography, and mass media and society. By weaving historical photographs into my own contemporary art practice, I recontextualize archives that codified colonial power dynamics between the United States and the Philippines. Ultimately, I hope that my project will contribute to a growing conversation by contemporary artists who are eager to interrogate the colonizing power of the archive, not only for Filipinos, but for all members of the Global South.
About Jason Reblando –
Jason Reblando is an artist and photographer based in Normal, Illinois. He received his MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago, and a BA in Sociology from Boston College. He is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines, an Artist Fellowship Award from the Illinois Arts Council, and a Community Arts Assistance Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. His work has been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, Politico, Camera Austria, Slate, Bloomberg Businessweek, Marketplace, MAS Context, Real Simple, Places Journal, Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Reader. His photographs are collected in the Library of Congress, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Pennsylvania State University Special Collections, the Midwest Photographers Project of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is currently serving on the Society for Photographic Education Board of Directors (2022-2026) and is an Assistant Professor of Photography in the Wonsook Kim School of Art at Illinois State University.
Visit the Griffin
The Griffin Museum of Photography is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. The museum is closed on Monday.
General admission is $9 for adults; $5 for seniors. Members and children under 12 are admitted free. Admission is free to all every Thursday, 2 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 781.729.1158, or visit www.griffinmuseum.org.
About the Griffin Museum
The Griffin Museum of Photography was founded in 1992 to provide a forum for the exhibition of both historic and contemporary photography. The Museum houses three galleries dedicated solely to the exploration of photographic arts: The Main Gallery, which features rotating exhibits from some of the world’s leading photographers, the Atelier Gallery and Griffin Gallery dedicated to showcasing the works of prominent, up-and-coming artists. The Griffin is also home to the extensive archives of museum founder and world-renowned photojournalist Arthur Griffin. The Griffin Museum of Photography also maintains 2 additional satellite galleries: Lafayette City Center Passageway in Boston Downtown Crossing, in Winchester @WinCam at Winchester Community Access and Media. For more on the Griffin Museum of Photography, visit www.griffinmuseum.org