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Peter Moosgaard: Supercargo Ayoke


Ongoing until Nov. 18, 1335 A. Mabini St., Ermita, Manila; for more information, call (02) 254-8498 or (0917) 704-2962; email info@1335mabini.com

Peter Moosgaard’s work revolves around the sacred quest for “Supercargo” – a messianic freight that will be summoned by rudimentary replicas of artworks, products and commodities.

The term is the derived from “cargo cult,” a ritualistic occurrence arising from contact between indigenous inhabitants and colonizing figures, manifested through the imitation of foreign goods (cargo) by the natives, with the belief that such creations would bring material wealth. Moosgaard’s objective has always been to challenge notions of originality and authenticity by mimicking objects of a certain global attraction.

During his two-month residency at The Unifiedfield Nomadic Artist-Residency Program in the Philippines, the artist re-contextualized the German Bauhaus on Ayoke, a tiny island off the coast of the archipelago facing the Pacific Ocean. He reconstructed Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous “Fallingwater” in the jungle, painted Lothar Schreyers “Totenbett der Frau” on a bed sheet, carved Bauhaus designs on coconuts, and built modernist chairs from native materials. Moosgaard repeated turn of the 20th century designs and studies from Europe in an almost ritualistic, shamanic way – not only questioning notions of the modern and the “pre-modern” (Bruno Latour), but also testing the early modernist ambition to create a “universal language.”