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.
Click here to learn more about our opening event featuring a poetry reading and live DJ set — happening on Mon, 14 Nov at 7.30PM.
About Augustine Paredes
Augustine Paredes is a Filipino multi-disciplinary artist questioning what it means to desire in the light of love, loss, and longing. His lyrical, contemporary, and sensuous visual narratives are derived from his many-storied travels, South East Asian consciousness, and curious gaze.
Primarily working within the realms of image-making via photography, painting, poetry, and installation, he has been commissioned by Alserkal Arts Foundation, Art Dubai, Goethe Institut, and Warehouse 421. He is a guest resident at Alserkal Arts Foundation in Dubai and artist-in-residence at the AlUla Artist in Residence by the Royal Commission of Al Ula and Afalula in Saudi Arabia.
He is an alumna of Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship, Campus Art Dubai, and International Summer School of Photography, and has been nominated for 13 Artists Awards, World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. He has exhibited in the Philippines, Malaysia, Latvia, Australia, United States of America and the United Arab Emirates.
As an independent publisher, he has authored art books entitled Conversations at the end of the universe (2020), Long Night Stands With Lonely, Lonely Boys (2021), Happy to be here to be happy (2022).
He is a co-founder of Sa Tahanan Collective along with artist and curator Anna Bernice, they aim to create a platform for Filipino art and creatives through exhibitions, art sales, and collaborations.