Acquiring Eyes: Philippine Visuality, Nationalist Struggle, and the World-Media System



Author: Jonathan Beller

Professor Beller in his book, Acquiring Eyes, directs incisive but at the same time admiring attention to H. R. Ocampo (painter and fiction writer), Lino Broka (filmmaker), Ishmael Bernal (filmmaker), and Emmanuel Garibay (painter)--four masters, the profound originality and complex visuality of whose genre specific efforts to parlay Philippine social dynamics into visual practices of engagement, struggle and transcendence, have produced for each of them a much deserved and committed local following even as they remain mostly overlooked, or misunderstood, by the rest of the world's critical communities. Yet, a professor Beller argues, these four masters persistently aspired, by means of their masterful productions, to establish the presence of the modern in the traditional, and the truly global or international in the maelstrom of bounded, everyday, material experiences. All four, it then would seem, are due for a long symphatetic look, and since Professor Beller's important work stablishes quite and impressive march on them, the profit interested local and international readers can expect to draw from it is incalculable.

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