Ang Sandatahang Banga (tilde acuna) [qbccc]

The full name for the work is “Ang Sandatahang Banga (o Kung Bakit Maraming Banga sa Elbi)” If I’m not mistaken it was first released in the Better Living through Xerography event, and comes well recommended by Adam David.

Apparently one of the recent moves by the UP Los Banos university administration is to have a lot of clay pots out as decoration on campus. This, we find out, is a conspiracy to have an army of otherworldly controlled beings ready at a moment’s notice once the tiyanak leader beckons. The only beings capable of stopping this incoming invasion are a foursome of statue beings that come to life when you’re not looking, who may take the forms of your smarter-than-your-average college student. They are the institution statues of the UPLB (like who is fondly known as the ‘Oblette’).

This being a product of students of the UP system, the work makes no apology for being political and anti-administration. The effort in combining art, photography, fiction, and political statement into one coherent work is not lost on me. The presentation of the theme is also really good, with an even-paced buildup toward the message it wants to make. All of the diverse elements of the crazy story eventually meet to deliver the political punch the author wants.

However some of its impact is somewhat lost on me, as the work is, overall, too packed with text. It takes some patience to make sense of what you are reading and what is going on. This is a style that does have its following, I realize that. But for a more general audience I would have preferred more pages and less compressed panels.

The art, as well as its text, is unique and forces you to pay attention, by its starkness and its ‘f-cked if I care’ attitude. The superimposition of art on top of photography heightens the effect of the line art, which in turn helps make sense of the text.

Overall, I’m probably not the best audience for the politically-motivated indie piece such as this one. But if you are used to such nuances, this is one very good example of this style of art with a message. Try to find it during the next BLTX event.

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