In her work, Marigold Santos explores the ways In which ideas of self can become multiple, fragmented, and dislocated, and then reinvented and created through a reflection of what is considered home. Reoccurring within her visual vocabulary is the adoption of the Asuang, a feared and vile mythological creature of Filipino folklore that possesses an inherent multiple self; both vampire and witch viscera-sucker, and who also has the ability to physically fragment, specifically, self-segmenting at the waist. The Asuang represents a body that is in process, and in its plurality can be faced with contradictions specific to itself. Combining past and present narratives, Santos built a personal mythology based on fantasy and the supernatural.
For this exhibition that combines drawing and sculpture, the fragmented and multiple self is investigated through a hybridization of both Filipino and Western Folklore, pop culture from the 80’s and 90’s, and physical sports such as boxing, alongside the gear worn and associated with protecting the body. Drawing from absurd parallels between witchcraft and boxing, these images consider the strength and power placed within a system of beliefs whether it be the body’s articulated and coordinated movements or objects on which we impart our trust that become amulets and extensions of our bodies, and the inevitable duel in which we simultaneously attach and detach ourselves as embraced opponents.
Systems that compete in this work define themselves through their opposition. They are an exploration of a self that is neither fixed nor stable, but celebrates multiplicity and hybridity between notions of the body and otherworldly confrontations. This internal conflict generated by the simultaneous impression of division and acceptance questions the desire for stability, preservation, presence and protection.