The New Social Environment#656

Martha Atienza & Yee I-Lann: Silverlens New York

Featuring Atienza, I-Lann, and Jessamine Batario


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artists Martha Atienza and Yee I-Lann join Rail contributor Jessamine Batario for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by KT Pe Benito.

In this talk

Visit Yee I-Lann: At the Roof of the Mouth and Martha Atienza: The Protectors, on view Silverlens through November 5, 2022 →

Martha Atienza

Photo of Martha Atienza
Born to a Dutch mother and Filipino father, Martha Atienza (b. 1981, Manila, Philippines) has moved between the Netherlands and the Philippines throughout her life, which has had a profound influence on her focus as an artist. Atienza’s practice explores installation and video as a way of documenting and questioning issues around environment, community and development. Her work is mostly constructed in video, of an almost sociological nature, and tends to be collaborative. Atienza is a co-founder of the NGO GOODland: an organization that collaborates to create case-specific solutions that free land & oceans from harmful substances whilst enabling more eco-friendly means of living for the local islanders.

Yee I-Lann

Photo of  Yee I-Lann
Photomedia-based artist Yee I-Lann (b.1971, Kota Kinabalu) engages with archipelagic Southeast Asia’s turbulent history, addressing issues of colonialism and neo-colonialism, power, and the impact of historical memory in social experience. She employs a multi-layered visual vocabulary drawn from historical references, popular culture, archives, and everyday objects. She has recently started collaborating with sea-based and land-based communities and indigenous mediums in Sabah. She is a co-founding associate of The Ricecooker Archives: Southeast Asian Rock ’n’ Roll Treasury with her partner Joe Kidd, and has worked as a production designer in the Malaysian film industry. She is currently a Board member for Forever Sabah and Tamparuli Living Arts Center (TaLAC), both based in Sabah.

Jessamine Batario

Drawing of Jessamine Batario by Phong Bui
Drawing by Phong Bui
Art historian Jessamine Batario specializes in modern and contemporary art. She received her PhD in Art History from The University of Texas at Austin. Batario currently lives in Waterville, Maine, where she is the Linde Family Foundation Curator of Academic Engagement at the Colby College Museum of Art. She was the guest critic for the Rail in March 2020.

Silverlens New York

Black and white photograph of Chelsea, New York with a white line drawing of the Silverlens New York gallery. Written on the line drawing is NEW YORK in uppercase.
Silverlens is an international gallery with locations in both Manila and New York, aiming to place its artists within the broader framework of the contemporary art dialogue. Its continuing efforts to transcend borders across art communities in Asia have earned it recognition as one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Southeast Asia. Silverlens was founded in Manila by Isa Lorenzo in 2004, and in 2007 she was joined by co-director Rachel Rillo. In September 2022, the gallery opened its doors in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York, broadening its international scope and bringing its diverse roster of artists to a new global audience.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have KT Pe Benito reading.

KT Pe Benito

KT, an agender person of Filipinx/Osage/European descent wears a cropped long sleeve top and smiles at the camera with their elbow propped on a rail at Christopher Street Pier with a background of water from the Hudson River.
Photo by Lola Flash
Artsworker, caregiver, and organizer KT Pe Benito (they/them/siya) navigates access and dismantling dominator culture. The arc of their practice is in service to Philippine history, Fil-Am community, human rights activists, and arts & cultural workers. KT creates artwork themselves to sustain victim.survivor futurity, leaning into humor and impulse with their art to ground their existence & embrace ease. They are a collective member of Vox Populi Gallery and organize with ANAKBAYAN Philadelphia and lead as the city chapter’s 2022-23 Chairperson.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.