Norberto Roldan

Founder of Black Artists in Asia – a Philippines-based group focused on socially and politically progressive artistic practice – and Green Papaya Art Projects, Norberto Roldan addresses local social, political, and cultural issues. His assemblage of text, images, and found objects consider the lived experience of daily life in the Philippines, alongside the complex country’s history and collective memory. Roldan places particular emphasis on historic objects and their capacity to retain significance once they’re discarded and forgotten, questioning whether an object is inherently sentimental or exclusively endowed with meaning. His assemblage titled In Search For Lost Time 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 (2010) was inspired by Hitler’s apartment in Berlin, which was supposedly incongruous with the megalomaniacal dictator’s nature. The work questions the ways in which objects reflect who we are. The Beginning of History and Fatal Strategies (2011) was inspired by Jean Baudrillard’s essay titled The End of History and Meaning, in which the philosopher argues that globalization precipitated the dissolution of history and the collapse of progress. Each work is a collection of old objects displayed in cabinets, recalling a past that is fabricated by an attempt to create a sense of order from forgotten memories.


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