Shifting Possessions Salon Series #1 with Việt Lê featuring curator-scholar Patrick Flores

On Camp, Agit Prop and Imelda Marcos

Monday, October 31, 2022, 4:00-5:30pm. Doors open at 3:30pm

Online (zoom link): Register here

SOLD OUT On-site (limited seating, RSVP required, email

On All Hallow’s Eve (Oct 31) and on the cusp of Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, please join us for a Zoom presentation, conversation and post-talk celebration/ costume party at The David Ireland House Dining Room with curator-scholar Patrick Flores (University of the Philippines), in dialog with artist-academic Việt Lê (California College of the Arts; ‘22 Stanford CCSRE Mellon Arts Fellow). As an opening case study, Flores will present on an exhibition he curated, Objects of Study (2022) –a critical reconsideration of Imelda Marcos’ art collections at the Vargas Museum (University of the Philippines Diliman). Of this artistic trove, Flores writes, “Inscribed in looking at and seeing through and around the images are the history of their shifting possessions and the political, ethical, and moral trouble they pose.”

Flores puts this Vargas Museum show in relation to the late artist David Medalla’s 1969 protest at the opening night of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), a huge complex initiated by the Marcos regime, with a banner which read “Down with Mystification.”  These moments may link us to the notion of object or property, mediated by camp and agit prop. 

Conjuring the Mission, Manila, and the Davids (David Medella and David Ireland) as nodal points, we will reflect on space, place and displacement, ownership, and (queer) strategies.  As we continue to shift notions of possession, in its various valances–as  objects, as subjects, as well as territories and hauntologies– we trouble past and future archives.

Shifting Posessions is a Salon Series in The Dining Room with artist and academic Việt Lê having dialogs and programming on queer(y)ing object collections, remediation strategies, geopolitical connections, historical trauma and healing.

Patrick Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, which he chaired from 1997 to 2003. Flores is also Artistic Director of Singapore Biennale 2019, Curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila, and Adjunct Curator at the National Art Gallery, Singapore. He was one of the curators of Under Construction: New Dimensions in Asian Art (2000), the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008, and was the curator of the Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Flores was a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and an Asian Public Intellectuals Fellow in 2004. 

Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He was a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council (2010); a member of the Advisory Board of the exhibition The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989 (2011), organized by the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe; and a member of the Guggenheim Museum’s Asian Art Council (2011). He co-edited the Southeast Asian issue with Joan Kee for Third Text (2011). On behalf of the Clark Institute and the Department of Art Studies of the University of the Philippines, Flores organized the conference “Histories of Art History in Southeast Asia” in Manila.

Việt Lê is an academic, artist, writer, and curator whose work centers on spiritualities, trauma, representation, and sexualities with a focus on Southeast Asia and its diasporas. Dr. Lê, Associate professor at California College of the Arts, is the author of Return Engagements: Contemporary Art’s Traumas of Modernity and History in Sài Gòn and Phnom Penh (Duke University Press, 2021). The art book White Gaze is a collaboration with Latipa (Sming Sming Books, 2019) is in the collections of the Guggenheim, Victoria and Albert Museum, SF MOMA, among others.  

A 2022 Stanford Center for Comparative Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE) Mellon Arts Fellow, Lê has presented his work at The Banff Centre, Bangkok Art & Cultural Center, Shanghai Biennale, Rio Gay Film Festival, the Smithsonian, among other venues. Lê curated  Charlie Don’t Surf! (Centre A, Vancouver, BC, 2005); and co-curated humor us (Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, CA, 2008), transPOP: Korea Việt Nam Remix (with Yong Soon Min: ARKO, Seoul; Galerie Quynh, Sài Gòn; UC Irvine Gallery; YBCA, San Francisco, 2008-09) and the 2012 Kuandu Biennale (Taipei) and the 2022 Viet Film Fest, “the world’s largest Vietnamese international film festival,” with a special screening and Q&A with Trinh T. Minh-ha. Lê is a board member of the Queer Cultural Center and Art Matters.