Kiri Dalena: ‘Erased Slogans’

I have understood that change will not necessarily come in my lifetime. It can take generations to really achieve change. It’s a long haul for all of us.

Kiri Dalena

Kiri Dalena’s work Erased Slogans consists of a series of photographic prints of protesters holding placards with the slogans removed, based on archival newspaper images of protests in Manila in the 1970s.

The images speak to a formative moment of social action and turmoil in the Philippines during the authoritarian Marcos regime (1965–1986), just before Ferdinand Marcos’s declaration of martial law in 1972, and to Dalena’s own stance as a human rights activist. The artist’s digital removal of the slogans from the placards wipes away the messaging and leaves behind only a blank white surface. The void alludes to voices of dissent that have been silenced and to the myriad forms of protest that continue today, even if not always articulated in words.

Produced by M+
Producer: Ocean Pine
Curatorial Research: Pauline J. Yao, Shirley Surya, Isabella Tam, William Seung, Vera Lam
Special Thanks: Kiri Dalena