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The many years that Paul Eric Roca has devoted to providing visual summaries of current events through his editorial illustrations and cartoons may lead us to assume that he has completely shared his perspective in countless ways. Maybe he has already maximized sharing his insights but that does not mean he has nothing more to say. As seen in his paintings for the past 10 years and even more apparent in this series, Roca has many more things to say.

 

In each of these works he articulates an idea, points out what we may already know but not acknowledge, reveals layers of the paradox of caring and/or not caring, straightforwardly declares what is, as is without any sugarcoat. Pensive, authentic, truthful are how I can describe the artist, but his works in this exhibit not only align with those descriptions but also tells us more about Roca, his practice and unabatedly, ourselves.

 

The Interlude of Indifference is a visual commentary on our sense of involvement in this contemporary time. As a presentation of Roca’s insightful, contemplative and thought-provoking art, this series is a timely recollection of the traces of our most recent memory of a revolution – one that may be too far out that it poses a challenge to keep a hopeful stance towards an approaching pivotal moment of our nation when we are to elect our future leaders.

 

A timely contemplation on what it is to be us in this period of looking back at a long history of collective disappointments, looking ahead to a future of uncertainty at a present that can either make us hopeful or indifferent, these artworks invite a dialogue to ask ourselves where we truly stand, whether we have a stand at all, and how we may begin to ponder on our role in our society’s direction that could either be a downward spiral or an uphill climb.

 

Hope always begins with promises, potentials and visions woven together as a possibility for better change. But at the same time hope also possibly diminishes with nonchalant disregard for any of those or a disbelief for all of those. Then nothing, just feeling nothing and not caring about not feeling anything is what puts an end to hope. As one of the paintings here discusses, we have become connoisseurs of the corrupt, but then what do we about that mastery? Roca bravely points that out straightforwardly yet most sincerely. As he highlights our collective state these days, it is up to us how we want to respond to his call. If we now reside in this interlude, what do we decide to be the main act? 

 

- Avie Felix