Text by Kimmy Baraoidan
“Cyborg Republic” is Cruz’s latest exhibition, which opened last July 4, 2015 at Blanc Gallery on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. It features his art pieces created from found objects like Happy Meal toys, plastic figurines, toy soldiers, action figures, and religious icons— representations of social, cultural, political, and religious hegemony—deliberately dismembered at precise segments, with the different amputated limbs or parts carefully put together and arranged in bento boxes, each frame rife with unabashed social commentary.
The exhibit speaks of capitalist or industrial or consumerist excess, says Cruz in an interview with The Alternative. He says he reuses industrial excess, sourced mostly from thrift shops or ukay-ukay, and reconstructs the objects to give new meaning to them. In “Corporate Christ,” where a skeleton has its arms—with its right wrist dressed in a suit—spread like the crucified Christ, Cruz depicts how we are nailed, either voluntarily or against our will, to an invisible cross that is our daily routine, not knowing if we are actually living, until we turn into bones, literally. He adds that this is the usual thing. “Hindi tayo nabubuhay dahil tao tayo o [dahil] gusto natin. Nabubuhay tayo just to survive (We are not living because we are humans or because we want to live. We are living just to survive).”