Born 1975, Manila, The Philippines
Lives and works in Manila
Kiri Dalena's Erased slogans series of photographs, commenced in 2008, are based on archival newspaper images of protests in Manila prior to the declaration of martial law by former dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1972. These black and white pictures show picketers carrying placards whose slogans have been removed by the artist, leaving only a blank white surface. The absence of words becomes a chilling symbol of the way in which voices of dissent are silenced and forgotten. Simultaneously, by removing them from archival obscurity and subtracting the context of historical specificity, Dalena transforms them into abstract representations of the act or ritual of protest. As demonstrations and protests re-emerge across Asia as a form of popular political expression (for example, in Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan and throughout West Asia), Dalena's intervention is both historical and topical.