Gulf Photo Plus hosts Augustine Paredes' debut international solo exhibition, PARADISE 4EVER, opening at 7.30PM on Monday, the 14th of November with a poetry performance and live DJ set at Warehouse 36, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai.
PARADISE 4EVER is an invitation to look through a mirror of Paradise after excavating narratives from a quarry of memories. Dubai-based Filipino artist, Augustine Paredes, has depended on the camera as a tool for introspection throughout his decade-long practice. By looking at the world through a viewfinder, his work presents incessant questioning of identity and longing.
Desire is the heart of Augustine's ever-evolving practice. At the center of this exhibition is an encompassing image of the vascular organ—alluding to the migrant heart as a sacred one. Out of it ebbs a river of visual narratives, masquerading and retelling biblical literature; childhood stories; heroed writers’ prose and poetry; mental-health narratives; migration tales; and the archetype of the mother.
Adapting several methods of image-making such as painting, collage, poetry, and filmmaking, Augustine presents a multi-layered body of work exploring ideas of Paradise through a series of images strung together by a ten-part poem entitled Close(s)t Paradise.
Augustine sins in a series of performative self-portraits, yet repents by burning and defacing the physical images. Through a rose-tinted hue, the sparse presence of mirrors implores the viewer to reflect on their gaze. As if asking for forgiveness, this body of work desires to arrive somewhere close to Paradise.
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