On average, a full-time artist needs a year to mount a solo exhibit. Lamon, according to artist Marc Cosico, took a decade. The paintings were set for an exhibition in 2011 but it was a trying year for the Cultural Center of the Philippines. So, the paintings were temporarily stowed in the classrooms of Philippine High School for the Arts, where Cosico is a full-time resident teacher. Enter Toto dela Cruz, the current curator of Sining Makiling Gallery. Lamon was offered the perfect place to showcase its supersize gusto.
Currently on display at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos, Laguna, Lamon is a feast that offers an assortment of delicacies, much like a typical Filipino handaan. We see politicians and influential people consuming a putaje or two, for the collection knows that a fiesta would not be complete without the mayor gracing the event. We actually hear utensils clinking, people chatting in between meals and the familiar clamor for consumption.
Cosico plays with his food– that is, his idea of food. We see an eight-armed Manny Pacquiao eating adobo and rice, GI Joe eating bullets, Neo eating galunggong with kamatis, and Joker in a familiar local fast food chain.
Lamon devours on the ever-present power struggle between consumers and capitalists, how the ones controlling the system creates a kind of hunger that is never satisfied. The collection reminds us of a system where we consume and starve in return. It is a full-course meal that leaves viewers feeling full with altered notions of food, eating and consumption as penance.