Josephine Turalba

Josephine was born in 1965 in Manila, Philipines. Lives and works in Manila.

“No Way Forward, No Way Back” is a multi-channel video installation that explores human experience of physical and imagined crossings of spaces, using psychological and emotional complications and Martin Heidegger’s condition of “existential homelessness” as points of departure. Employing footages of real and imagined migratory animals and sounds from diverse source material ranging from recordings of Gregorian chant, Muslim calls to prayer, and various acoustic instruments that are starkly juxtaposed with appropriated online news, “No Way Forward, No Way Back“ investigates a multiplicity of mythological, phantasmagorical, and actual world – yours, mine, and someone else’s in places and times that collide, converge and confound. Their textural layers and meanings give way to critical visual and audio utterances in precise overtures on the current state of things – our world plagued with unprecedented environmental damage, globalised terror, crumbling economies, civil wars, acts of terrorism. The list goes on. We can choose or not to look at their profound effects on ecosystems and human beings – causing waves of migration that we have never witnessed before in this befuddling manner.

Ten years ago, I started creating artworks out of bullet and shotgun shells. My “ballistic” medium
developed out of a personal trauma, losing my father to 4 bullets. Somewhere within the creative
process, I found the strength to channel suffering and obsession of the trauma to creative energy,
transforming the object of pain (the bullet) into artworks that evoke deeper reflections on violence
intrinsic to existence. I explore issues of divide and convergence within a volatile geo-political
world order. My works focus on visceral approaches to the politics of violence and dynamics of
infliction, trauma.

These assemblage works, Echoes of Çanakkale and The Long Long Trail of the 4th, are part of an
interdisciplinary project which brought me to revisit legendary and historical sites of war around
the world. I was enthralled with the long history of conflict of Dardanelles Strait being a witness of
the two of the bloodiest wars in History - the mythological war of Troy and the Battle of Gallipoli.

My works have used more than 50,000 spent shotgun and brass bullets of different calibres -
wondering if any among those I have used has taken a life.