Part 1 of our exclusive interview with artists Kiko Escora & Marita Fe Ganse starts with a delectable and oh so savory merienda of heartwarming Wit's tablea & cassava cake presented by our gracious hostess, the Dystopiarist sometimes referred to as Bob by Odile_TV in this conversation. Also joining our tete-a-tete this afternoon is our good friend Bradley Villalon.
Odile: Whoa! this tablea is so espiso Bob. What’s “espiso” in Tagalog?
Dystopiarist: I don’t know what… it’s like it sounds like espresso right? so just concentrated I guess
O: But is there a word in Tagalog for espiso?
D: I don’t think so I haven’t encountered
O directing the question to Kiko: What’s concentrate in Tagalog? You answer coz you're Tagalog.
D: *laughs Sya lang daw young pure bred dito, diaspora daw tayo eh
Marita: Whole wheat Bread
Kiko: No no "Born and Raised" not pure
The Whole Wheat Bred - Marita
K: We’re all mixed bread / bred
O: Ok so maybe you’re just the most non mixed? The least mixed?
-- Though we are all Filipinos here... Marita was born & "bred" in Germany by her Filipina Mom and German Dad, Brad was born & "bred" in Canada by Filipino parents, Odile & Dystopiarist were both born in the Philippines. Odile was "bred" in Cebu with minute life adventures in the U.S. while the Dystopiarist in Manila and her teen years in the U.S.
K: I'm not sure about that I have to check my family genealogy
D: Gusto nyo bang mag genetic testing? Im curious about it.. NO? you don’t want to know?
O: I wanna know but it's too expensive I don’t want to spend that much!
Brad: its probably like 500 bucks?
D, M, O: NooooOOO
D: I thought like mga 5000
O: Mga 30k?
B: Ah yea so 500 dollars!
--Ok so Brad was talking in Canadian money not Philippine money then.
D: Honestly. What do we do with that information?
O: No.. coz of sickness… I mean future illness
B: So you can sleep better?
M: Just so I know
K: It’s very good for Conceptual Art
B: So ano yung concept mo dun sa Genetic Testing?
Dude anything related to what you find there you can use as material “That was when before I was born blah blah blah..” you can bullshit your way with that shit - Kiko
D: You can bullshit your way with anything
K: But if you’re unskilled and you rely on new media —I mean, if you’re unskilled in the traditional craft/s and you have less material to use… ideas or material for bullshitting you know it cuts the effort in half or even more than half.
D: It lends itself well to that kind of work. It provides context. Generations worth of context!
K: Gives the illusion of authenticity and… credibility
D: And depth
K: But! it’s still bullshit. Art is bullshit… Dude I’m not drunk yet ha
D: Amen! Amennn!
K: But it doesn’t mean it’s bad.
O: This is officially “Chapter 1 of this talk”
M: Fck that shit
D: It’s a "Masterclass"
For example: It’s like capitalism. Capitalism is bullshit, but we use it! It is ingrained in our system and we cannot get rid of it. So we just have to f*cking deal with it. -Kiko
D: Or have fun with it. Yea have fun with it. Make the most out of it, I think that’s what you’re doing like since I met you parang…
K: Really? Ok.
D: I mean I gravitated to you guys coz it was like y'know I thought like Manila was such a shit-hole y'know..
K: WOW! …really? when was this?
O: 2004!? I met her when she was 19
D: I met you guys about the same time. Upstairs in Guijo
O: Saguijo ...hailing from San Francisco!
D: and I really thought… I was like Ughhh Manila is so boring. Boring and DRY y'know’
K: At 14?
D: No naman at 19! grabe naman ang 14?
K: Sus the same lang yun noh.. under 20 hello?
O: “Teen” teen kaseh
D: So when you were 14 and when you were 19 same ka lang?
K: No.. Boys are different. They’re abnormal
D: Ok…what’s normal?
B: Abnormal and extremely immature.
K: But girls are like y'know at 14 nireregla na
RIPE, ripe she's ripe - Marita
D: Yes yes, at 19 you’re ripe na
K: Tama ba at 14 nireregla na
B: 11.. 12?
D: Ako 12!
K: I remember a classmate in high school and she had her period… First period in school and we were all like *Woah it was a moment. We all know what that is but seeing it in like y'know a real person…
O: How??? did you see it? Did her skirt get… ?
K: No no I think she realised it first. That something was wrong, so she asked the teacher for help because well everybody is chismosa right? So .. well they tried to help naman...
D: Ye but that’s traumatising for the girl
B: So really was it really first period? First period sa first period class? *laughs
D: First period in first period.
B: Coz it sounded like a moment there *laughs
K: Just to be clear we’re shifting into "Tito" jokes now ha.
D: Ok fine may disclaimer.. *laughs ..but parang that could be a painting. The first period. 'First Period” painting like a schoolgirl skirt
B: But you can’t use the colour red
B: I’m joking
-- but then we do take Brad's joke seriously...
D: Ok… Brown Brown na!
M: Spicy chocolate
B: You can use chocolate? Right it dries up the same as blood right?
K: Or clay?
-- and because we took Brad's joke seriously, the conversation then shifts to chocolate...
B: Did you see the… what they have at the MOMA right now, this guy he’s building a sheet wall of chocolate?
B: So there’s like a screen and lays it out… the chocolate really thin.. he hangs it and they curl it at the end... they say it smells amazing in there! It’s all chocolate… all lined with chocolate!
M: What Kind of chocolate?
D: I bet! It smells like that in my mom's house in Davao, coz they’re grinding all this stuff.
K: So where is the show?...In MOMA? so…Food and art?
Her mom's house in the MOMA - Marita
D: In the MOMA my moms house
M: Your mommas house… or MOMA’s house?! err or My MOMA’s house *laughs
--Odile spaces out. Quietly savoring her cassava cake dipping pieces of it into her cup of tableya...
D: You won’t notice it but you’re gonna end up finishing it!
M: You’re already full?
O: It’s so espiso man gud! *laughs
D: You can add hot water. Add hot water!
B: "MAN GUD"! *laughs "MAN GUD"!
D: Ayaw mo? “Man”! “Good” that’s a dj name right there.
B: Sounds Irie "MAN GUD"! *laughs
--Dystopiarist starts scrolling through her phone
D: Where’s the thing? Why isn’t it showing me my?
M: You’re Mommas House?
O: OMG MOMA and MOMMA!
B: She finally got the joke! *laughs out loud
So that's a wrap for Part 1 of this interview. The very first question at the beginning of this conversation though was never answered! But if you click on the word "espiso" up there you will find some clues. And if you do know the answer please let us know!
To be continued...
This piece is brought to you by Odile_TV & the Dystopiarist: Two gallivanting wanderers exploring the present accordingly through curious research & blissful relaxation.
Photographs by: Bradley Villalon