Queen of the Carabao (video stills), 2018
Installation photography by Simon Hewson
Courtesy of Art Month Sydney

Queen of the Carabao
2-channel digital video, colour, sound
30:00 mins

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Queen of the Carabao confronts the idea of homecoming and cultural memory. It takes the aesthetics of slow motion as a tool to explore absence, trauma and racial melancholia. The text present throughout the video mythologises a return to the motherland - a moment in time that Garcia experienced, which prompted reflections of cultural displacement and ambiguity, as an uprooted, diasporic entity.

“A person who does not remember where they came from, will never reach their destination.”
- Filipino Proverb

This video work was filmed in Garcia’s father’s ancestral lands, in Pampanga (Philippines) and takes inspiration from Lav Diaz, a Filipino filmmaker and key member of the slow cinema movement. It also references karaoke culture, an extremely popular (and at times, violent) pastime in the Philippines.

Garcia collaborated with musician Joshua Icban, who created a soundscape using field recordings from his parents’ home in Pampanga, as well as a Kapampangan pop song.

This work was supported by the CreateNSW Rapid Response Grant

Exhibition History: Darren Knight Gallery, UNSW Galleries (all 2018); Luggage Store Gallery (2019); Warrnambool Art Gallery (2020)