Third Space

one sunday, the year after i gradded high school, i got handed a flyer by a maid after mass at Christ the King church near my house in 'meadows.
It was a flyer for Third Space, an experimental artist run space which was conducting workshops, had a video/book library and editing/video equiptment. it was located in a village really close to my house.. strictly in the manila sense ie. gated housing subdivision. I lived in one , there are tonnes all beside each other kind of deal, and third space was like basically just had to walk across one 'main' road to enter another section of villages and eventually i was there...I think I was about 16 or 17 at the time and I already knew I wanted to do art, and not just 'oil painting'. So I took the flyer and read it over and over again and decided I wanted to go check it out and try to do an 'experimental genre' workshop.
I cant remember the first time I met Yason, although im positive i instantly thought he was equal parts of art and genius and crazy kitschy gay!
When I got involved in Third space it was like Yason would make me do these experimental art projects. Experimental in the way that U. P. Fine Arts workshops were not (at all). My first installations and public performance was with Yason and the Third Space crew.... it seems everyone i remember affiliated with that time has made success of their talent/careers in manila and abroad be it in art, fashion, music... I MET PAOLO RAYMUNDO BECAUSE OF THIRD SPACE nuff said... ya, pao!!! its been
too long. and everyone else i met through the grapes and vines ;) hello, the foundation of my young adult life.
The best 'shows' I ever did were for Third Space.. with We Are The Raft project (2005) coming in at a tie.This one time we did bathroom installations in the CCP aka. cultural center of the philippines.. you know like where they have orchestra and ballet performances... we installed in almost all the main bathrooms! i think it was considered ground breaking stuff or sumpin atthe time, in manila.... :D was the it was such a fun show to set up!! ak. da best. the american ambassadors wife wanted my stuff pulled out of the show for being obscene!!! haha so they had to put an 'adults only' sign in one of the stalls i re-made. it was the porn stall. some dirty old bastard at one point ripped the protective plastic that was linng the inside of the stall wide open and took a pic or two. heh. the pics were hilarious too really old old women, very large breasted women, amature porn and gay porn. the other two stalls were not- porn. one was two huge rolls of fiber fill and a light behind the toilet. supported by a thin wodden frame i wired together or something .. very hot and strange sounding inside. the other stall was completely lined in refective silver plastic/wrapping paper, had star shaped xmas lights and multicolored lights hanging from the top via the same sort of frame as the fiber fill stall: on top, and the rest of the bathroom was installed like a hang out room with pillows on the floor while the entrance was a wait room. I did lots of other shows with Yason curating and that is pretty much how I was introduced to art. Third Space and super traditional U. P. Fine Arts worshops (oil, charcoal, pastel, figure, perspective etc).
Yason was the shit and he really opened up my eyes. He was my first artistic mentor and let me see what it was like to live for art and how to make life equal art and have a mad fun time doing it.


ARCHIVING ARTIST-RUN SPACES @ Magnet Gallery Katipunan (in front of Ateneo, beside Rustan's and Starbucks)
December 5: Third Space / Yason Banal
Wednesday, 5-7pm

Archiving Artist-Run Spaces (AARS) is a series of talks and slideshows about 6 artist-run spaces in Manila including Pinaglabanan Gallery, The Junk Shop, Third Space, Surrounded By Water, Big Sky Mind and Future Prospects.

These spaces were vital centers for Filipino contemporary art, providing the much-needed arena for artists to produce and exhibit their work without the limitations of commercial galleries and traditional institutions. Not only did they nurture a significant number of artists who have made their mark in the Philippine art scene, artist-run spaces also helped define a new direction for contemporary art practice.
Third Space was conceived by Yason Banal in 1998 as an art project that uses the physical and conceptual form of a house as material in creating, distributing and evaluating contemprary art practice, zooming in on new forms such as performance, video and installation. There were exhibitions, screenings, happenings and talks, as well as film shoots, blind dates and spirit hunts. It provided a free library and continuous workshops for children, teens and adults in special courses such as creative writing, new art seminar and experimental genres. Both a site-specific (located on Third Street, Saint Ignatius Village) and time-based (life span of 3 years) work, it ceased to exist in 2000.

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