Patrick D. Flores on Green Papaya Art Projects— 02.11.2021
Last week, Phase 1 of the Papaya archive was uploaded on the Asia Art Archive (AAA) website, a gargantuan project Papaya and AAA has been working on since 2017. For today’s Throwback Thursday, we would like to continue celebrating this milestone by sharing with you what curator and professor Patrick D. Flores’ thoughts on Papaya’s role in the community, written to endorse Papaya’s application for the International 2020 Relief Fund for Organisations in Culture and Education, along with several posters of Papaya’s events through the years.
Green Papaya exemplifies the type of space that works with a particular community of kindred practitioners and creates interdisciplinary programs animated by impulses different from those emanating from, let us say, the market or museums. Not totally isolated from institutions or typical economic systems, it nevertheless insists on a distinction that is by turns polemical, strategic, and political. This is the context from which Green Papaya draws its strength and conveys its energy to a hopefully broader public sphere. This is also why it must be supported in light of the need of a cultural ecology to be exposed to a wide range of sympathies and expressions.
Green Papaya, moreover, is invested in archiving its work not only to register its history, but also to contribute to the fluid narrative of Philippine art and culture. In many ways, it forces a dialectic.
In other words, Green Papaya introduces a markedly critical attitude towards norms and in doing so applies pressure to some nodes in the artistic network to expand, innovate, calibrate, and recast assumptions about what it means to conceive of and sustain platforms for contemporary articulations. It foregrounds an ethical procedure as well as a logistical model for the production of energy in the art world.
For charting a less trammeled path, convening coteries not commonly present in institutions, and refusing to follow tried and tested logics set by habits and conveniences, Green Papaya serves a constituency that is vital in ensuring the survival of a lively art world. Finally, it renders a more ample field of practice and mental landscape as it provides opportunities for experimentation, critique, and general speculation about art itself and the society in which it is entangled intricately. Green Papaya initiates consequences out of this critical relationship with perceived hegemonies and from within incites its own circumstances.
Patrick D. Flores