Weaving Together Filipinx American Histories
A Conversation with Genevieve Clutario and Jeanne F. Jalandoni
Genevieve Clutario, author of Beauty Regimes: A History of Power and Modern Empire in the Philippines, 1898-1941 (Duke University Press, 2023), and visual artist Jeanne F. Jalandoni's respective works aim to tell histories and narratives of Filipinx intimacy. In each of their work, intimacy takes different forms and ultimately highlights commonly overlooked connections that shape Filipinx experiences across the diaspora and across generations. Their conversation will highlight their methods of Filipinx storytelling through text, the visual, and the materiality of beauty in both their collaborative work through cover art as well as in their respective projects, from Jalandoni's new exhibition to Clutario's new book.
This event will be livestreamed. Click here to register for virtual attendance.
Genevieve Clutario is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at Wellesley College. Clutario's first book, Beauty Regimes: A History of Power and Modern Empire in the Philippines, 1898-1941 (Duke University Press, April 2023), is a history of the cultural, political, and economic dimensions of fashion and beauty systems that lay at the heart of modern empire and Philippine nation-building projects. Her new research project, Power and Allure: Gender, Authoritarianism, and the Promise of Development, focuses on a history of feminized power (beauty, celebrity, allure, and charisma) in the Philippines under authoritarian regimes of the Cold War, international development projects, U.S. imperialism, and the making of the global south. Her teaching interests focuses on Asian American narratives in global perspectives; Filipinx studies; Ethnic Studies; and gender, race, and the politics of fashion and beauty.
About the Book
Beauty Regimes traces how beauty and fashion in the Philippines shaped the intertwined projects of imperial expansion and modern nation building during the turbulent transition between Spanish, US, and Japanese empires. Clutario takes readers through vivid scenes of beauty’s collision with empire: from sartorial confrontations between white women and Filipinas about beauty and power, the spectacular Manila Carnival Queen pageants, and the global industry of Philippine embroidery and lingerie to Manila’s high fashion designers and the exploitation of unfree labor in colonial prisons and schools. Beauty operated as both regimen and regime in the Philippines, where empire became a thing of beauty. By demonstrating how beauty and fashion powerfully determined individual and cultural practices as well as national and transnational politics, Clutario offers new ways of understanding the centrality of beauty in the making of imperial and nationalist power.
Jeanne F. Jalandoni is a painter and textile artist, born and based in NYC. She received her BFA in Studio Art from New York University. Some solo shows include exhibitions with Taymour Grahne Projects, Real Art Ways, and the Berkshire Art Museum. Jalandoni exhibited in group shows with Jeffrey Deitch (2022), Ben Brown Fine Arts (2022), and Asia Society Texas Center (2019). Jeanne was an artist-in-residence at 36 Chase & Barns (2018), the Textile Arts Center (2021), and ChaNorth Artist Residency (2022). Other notable achievements and awards include the Real Art Award, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement Grant (2019), and a feature in New American Paintings (issue #164; 2023).
About the Exhibition
Jeanne F. Jalandoni is proud to debut new works at the Suzy Newhouse Center in her solo exhibition On Being Maganda. Taking inspiration from Genevieve Cluratio's book, Beauty Regimes, and conversations with the author, Jalandoni created works that reflect on her associations with Filipinx American beauty. As a second-generation American who has never been to the Philippines, Jalandoni's sense of Filipinx beauty has always been guided by her family and intergenerational bonds. The works are mainly set in domestic Filipinx households, revealing moments that range from relatives dancing, resting, and pampering each other. These scenes contain background images taken from advertisements and photos of the Manila Carnivals, as well as family archives. These items act as mementos, pointing to different histories that Filipinx Americans embody in their identities. The structures in her handmade weavings, manipulated machine knits, and hand embroidered piña demonstrate a charted time and intimacy with the fabric. While textiles document labor and time, Jalandoni permits them to take more of a center stage to be used as storytelling devices in her personal narrative.