Cultural Center of the Philippines



1982 / Viscosity print / 48 x 40 cm / Artist: Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi / Private collection

This print by Paris-based Gelvezon-Tequi was done in the viscosity printing process, which allows several colors to be printed simultaneously. Here she merges her earlier pinball-machine pop imagery with apocalyptic connotations and the religious retablo or altarpiece.

The bright orange base retains the format of the pinball machine with its options (β€œSelect Target”) and commands (β€œPush”/β€œFire”), which allude to a state of armed conflict.

On the retablo itself, enshrined in the central niche, is the Lamb of the Book of Revelations, with the seven horns and seven eyes, who would break open the seals of the seven scrolls and unleash the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Lamb itself carries the Philippine flag, its shape bearing similarities to the New Society banner, thus inviting the viewer to draw parallelisms with Philippine realities. The bright saints in the two side niches are partially or almost entirely covered by the dark silhouettes of soldiers’ long arms, while below, in the smaller niches, angels sound the trumpets of war. All in all, the imagery signifies the enthronement of military power in the Philippines, at the same time alluding to the armed struggle that reflects conflicting interests in the country during the Marcos period.

Written by Alice G. Guillermo (1994)