It was a long white dress in linen fabric that could be a century old,
with panelled layers not unlike the panels of a quilt.
A tall white lady literally.
Casually walking out from a dreary day at the local sanitarium...
arriving just in time for her scheduled evaluation with our curious correspondent, the Dystopiarist.
Marita: *adjusting her sleeve & accidentally exposing something Yikes!
Dystopiarist: Oh noooo!
M: *readjusting Hahaha!
D: Ahh gets gets!
M: WTF, what’s going on? *flipping the panel of fabric up & down Oh I like to keep this one.. going from hot to cold
D: Ahh yea tama tama
M: But it's so hot
D: Pero ang galing kase parang you look like you're wearing y'know yung scrubs? You look like you're in a uniform for like a sanatorium *laughs
D: Such a GREAT AESTHETIC- Cult member slash Sanatorium worker *laughs
M: Right right? I was like... Ok OKAAYE let's go with this!
D: So would you say that that’s part of your everyday peg for when you want to look...
M: Look... mental? *laughs Not to look mental but like the- the… Occult -esque?
D: Yea slightly Occult-Cult-esque OCCULTESQUE! I like it!
M: Not NOT mental-- Occultesque
D: *gesturing to the outfit head to toe Slightly unbalanced mentally... Hwag na mentally Hwag natin isama ang mentally. Hahahah!
D: So uhm yea, since we’re on that topic on how everybody would like a different pace, I was really curious about when you started to do your practice coz I never knew that side of you before! I know that you have an eye and you really have your own aesthetic etc. But! Like the first time I saw your work- I was like Fck yea! Yknow? So coming from that- What was the catalyst for you?
M: I Started with Eairth with Melissa 'coz I was... we were hanging out at her studio with all her like cut offs.. I’d pull 'em out and she’s like yea just use it. I’m not gonna use it. I started the quilts in 2018 with her- with Eairth, the collaboration and uh I put it aside coz she moved to Montauk… and then si Derek (Tumala) he was like "Uy Marita you’re doing quilts you should exhibit. And then I said- OK Fine! I’ll do it.
D: Sa Den! Diba? Ang ganda ng series na yun.
M: So The Den , it was Derek... planted the whole thing.
D: That's actually the thing that I’m super curious about with these kinda artist profiles is- seeing this genealogy? Like- Sino ang Ninong or Ninang nung gawa mo? So did you show at Futurist too?
M: Yea I showed at Futurist for Women's month and then The Drawing Room... Scary eh
D: Baket scary?
M: Scary eh "art-world".. dibaa?? ...Fckk
D: I'm sure! Like me?? I don’t even make shit, y'know because I’m terrified! I'm terrified of the white cube... like I’m always… I have such admiration but…
M: Yea! Si Derek made me do it he said: Do it do it na.. JUST DO IT.
D: Walang just "JUST" kase. You have that intention eh you’re saying something naman.. kung baga it's not like a technical thing that you just do. You have an ethos… right?
D: Super fun, just playing with the colours? The textures and shit!
M: Textures colours, shades! Yea
D: Would you say that living with Kiko… mejo na encourage ka din?
M: Yea encouraged… but also it's like at the same time I'm like... Don’t tell me what to do..
M: Don't tell me what to do-oo. *she says in her sing-song German tone. He was like "oh you should do this..." and before when I did other things he was like "Y'know Marita this is nice but I know you can do better" . And I’m like Fck off… so you’re not proud of me?..
D: Strict? Strict sya.
M: He said I know you can do something better. No. whatever I’m not ready yet! …so he was like really waiting until I’m ready on my own. He just push me he’s like-- you should do something creative now or like its gonna backfire..
D: You can't force it also eh. You really can’t.
M: Nah I kinda knew in some way… somethings gonna happen but on my own. not like on Kiko..
D: Not on Kiko’s time.
M: Yea Not on Kiko’s time… also uhm not on his like lead ? *eyebrows raised so I’m not like- Kiko's baby or something.
D: Yea ang hassle nun! Yeaaa hindi talaga pwede.
M: I don’t want- So it's good that Derek was like .. “yknow Marita.. at The Den”.. so it's not like through Kiko.
D: Yea.. yea love it I love how it happened..
M: Very natural
D: Yea yea! Super organic.
M: With Eairth she was like already saying when we started the quilts that she wanted to also exhibit at Finale.. Let's make a couple of quilts and then let's put it up at Finale with your drawings. I'm like- oh yea ok we can do that. But it never happened.
D: Na busy lang..
M: Also like she moved away.
D: Tsaka mas maganda na din kase you did it on your own. Y'know you were gonna prove it to yourself.
M: Yea without someone else. Yea it's stronger but it's definitely better- more natural. Organic.
D: That’s sweet. Yea ang sarap ang sarap nung works...like I could feel it eh! Even just (looking at it from the images) .. I could feel the texture!
M: Thank you!
D: And ganda ng shoot nyo! On the bridge!
M: The one in Intramuros? And the post office at the back!
D: It’s so good with the bridge! With Gab! (Villegas, owner of The Den, a coffee shop & gallery in Escolta, Manila) I was like- Let's put it there!
D: Ok so yea.. You mentioned earlier about being very careful with how you entered the scene 'coz you don’t want it to appear nepotistic in a way.. ?
M: Exactly coz I already heard from “one” who said- “but Marita you should push coz like you should push your works more. You should do more because you’re just getting your shows because of Kiko” and I’m like-
D: Omg sino nagsabi nun? Tangina nilaaa.
M: Ohh it doesn’t matter .. But that’s like- No that’s not how it happened . But they already think that way, well “one”- but it’s like I’ve already y'know- entered that world… making sure it's not through Kiko.
D: Sakto Sakto. So like aside from that. For example in your personal space. Of course so we’ve talked about how you connected, your intention and your approach. Now.. I'm curious about your home life, a little bit.
M: Ohhh, how we work together at home?
D: Your workspace and his workspace.
M: We actually have a studio space separate from our house. But mine, I have also a room in the studio but I’m not using it right now bcoz he’s been always so busy and I don’t wanna peep in when he’s super busy and also like both of us need our space, I realise… so I work in the living room right now so when he’s at home… I don’t want to work.
D: So parang your season is when his ends?
M: Oh like …no we’re not taking turns. I want him also to work so it's when he’s out of the house that I can work in the living room. That’s why I don’t move into my studio.
D: You can’t hear yourself thinking if he’s around?
M: Yeaaa… I want my own space I need to be…
D: But you keep it clean? Your stuff is like…
M: I like to put things away.
D: like your materials are...
M: Mixed with my everyday life?
D: His materials? Hiwalay talaga.
M: Yea he has his own… it's really good that we have our own separate space.
D: And keeping like the common spaces.. like your bedroom…
M: Oh there’s no work in the bedroom. But then during the day we have to eat at the coffee table like we don’t have a dining table anymore. We don’t have a floor anymore. *laughs
D: Omg…coz kase puro work? Haha!
M: But we’d rather do that than me in his studio.. Coz like- Energy… like one time I did the mistake of asking him for advice. I went "woahh don’t tell me what to do.." I realise I don’t want to hear some of his advise. I already knew what to do and then I ask for advise and he said the opposite. It really drove me crazy. So then he saw it. And he’s like: "Why are you even asking, when you know what to do. Don’t ask if it upsets you." So that’s how I learned.
B: You already have your vision…
M: I already know so why am I asking? He said "You’re being insecure."
D: He said what?
M: "Don’t be insecure. You’re being insecure. You don’t need to ask again if you already know." When he said "Don’t ask" that was actually the better advise DON’T ASK-- don’t ask just go for it. JUST GO FOR IT.
D: He’s always been like that ever since I met him.. just do it just do it! Grabe the balls, parang wala talaga syang pakialam ever since…
"Don’t be scared. F*ck that F*ck others. Just go for it!" - Marita
D: You don’t need permission from anybody talaga. Would you think that’s one of the things?
M: Yeah that really helped .. and I didn’t ask anymore. I only ask when I really have no idea.
D: When you’re stuck.
M: so yea- Don’t rely on someone else..
D: Especially sa haba din ng bwelo mo diba?.. matagal mo ng iniisip yan eh so it's all kinda just buried under layers. You just have to bring it into the surface!
M: Yaaa put it out. Not being scared anymore… like holding back... thinking like doing it maybe different way? NO just put it all out. JUST PUT IT ALL OUT but be careful.
D: Also because, un na nga eh folks like Gab and Derek and Sharon. They really make you feel safe?
"They make you feel like… You can be part of it." - Marita
D: You can really be.
M: You can.
D: So welcoming!
M: Exactly it was them that put the idea in. Like I would never think.. and they're like- "It's for the wall! I said- What? really? Derek was like- "...exhibit- it's Art!" I said- "Okay… Let's see…"