ArtSpeak: The Unbearable Being of Light: On Philosophy and Photography

Saturday, 25 May 2024, 3 PM to 5 PM

Ben Chan ArtSuite, 2F

FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC | Limited slots only! Register now at: go.ateneo.net/UnbeatableBeingOfLight

Ateneo Art Gallery and Photography Chismis PH present The Unbearable Being of Light: On Philosophy and Photography, an ArtSpeak session led by Dr Remmon Barbaza, on May 25 (Saturday), 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM at the Ben Chan ArtSuite, 2F Ateneo Art Gallery, Soledad V Pangilinan Arts Wing, Areté.

25 May 2024, Saturday

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Philippine Standard Time)

Ben Chan ArtSuite, 2F Ateneo Art Gallery

Soledad V Pangilinan Arts Wing, Areté, Ateneo de Manila University

This program is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

REGISTER HERE: go.ateneo.net/UnbearableBeingOfLight

Since antiquity, philosophy has always concerned itself with concealment and unconcealment, with what is obscure and what is obvious, with light and shadows. It should then come as no surprise that philosophy eventually must confront the question of photography — What is being revealed in a photograph? What do we humans do when we take photographs or look at them? Phenomenology, as this lecture hopes to show, lends itself to the thinking of photography insofar as, in the words of Heidegger, it is "the letting-be-seen of what shows itself from itself, just as it shows itself from itself." We speak of "taking" photos or "capturing" images but, in truth, photography is an act of setting free and letting be.

Organized in conjunction with Insights: Issue Two, this ArtSpeak session is co-presented by Photography Chismis PH in partnership with Parallax. Now in its second year, Insights invites writings about photography that center on the theme of "The Complex." Philippine Photography is imagined as a strange mode of connection which we inhabit — embodying objects, dispositions, inscriptions, and sovereignties. The publication encourages submissions that range from the diaristic, journalistic, and historical. Confessionals, dialogues, and the pedestrian account hold as much value to Insights as critical indictments, material treatises, and curatorial manifestos of Philippine Photography.

For inquiries, email aag@ateneo.edu or photographychismisph@gmail.com.


Dr. Remmon Barbaza's interest in photography began when he first got hold of an SLR film camera with a "nifty fifty" almost forty years ago, in the mid-80s. While earning a BA in Linguistics from UP Diliman, an MA in Philosophy from the Ateneo de Manila University, and a PhD in Philosophy from the Hochschule für Philosophie in Munich, Germany, Barbaza kept his enthusiasm for photography. In 2017 he joined a photography workshop in Manila with the New York-based visual artist and photographer, Adam Marelli, thanks to a generous sponsorship by Barbaza's good friend and fellow photography enthusiast, Dr. Victor Calanog.

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Barbaza took a shot at the MartinParrPhotoChallenge9, submitting a photo he took at home of two pieces of Linapa on a blue-and-white plate. Out of a hundred entries, the photo was featured by Martin Parr along with a few others in his Instagram Stories. In 2023 he launched a new course, Philosophy of Photography, at the Ateneo de Manila University.