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Russ Hour [2019]

A performance inquiry that probes into the world of e-democracy, Russ Hour is derived from a two-year immersion of the artist as a livestream host within the largest gay social media app on the planet: Blued. In the ether of the internet, the artist intersect two realities: the one he shares with 150,000++ followers who are there to consume his alter ego and the other—with the art-consuming audience of the Low Fat Art Festival in Bangkok.


Please Don't Feed the Natives [2014]

MANILA, Philippines – There was a man buried up to his neck along the path leading down to the main stage area of the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival over the weekend. Wearing face paint and a body wrap made of indigenous fabrics, the man was Cebu-based performance artist Russ Ligtas, who called his piece Please Don’t Feed the Natives. [Mar. 5,2014/Rappler Philippines]

please don't feed the natives - malasimbo festival.jpg

mouth.mumu [2014]

Inner tales, forbidden speech, ghosts of the mouth—these "mouth mumu" were summoned into an anonymous phone number by request of the artist to the public. Over 50 participants deposited stories, declarations, and confessions that cannot be made audible by their original authors. For each audience member, the faceless repository shares one of the secrets—giving each its proper voice and co-bearer.

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Naluwas si Ligtas sa Manila/Safe Travels to Manila [2014]

After migrating from my hometown to the capital, I staged the acclimation of my alter egos to their new locale—Manila. The performance series commissioned by the Cultural Center of the Philippines featured three of my alter egos in four durational performances , 5 to 8 hours long: 

- Search Party in Manila - The wandering fool Happy walked in slow motion while searching for a missing person whose face can only be glimpsed through a mirror.

- Being Mdm B. Niyaan - Madame B completed an 8-hour marathon of remembering rejection, heartbreak, and abandonment. 

- Fiesta sa Barrio - The vagabond Roland Buenaviaje started an outdoor party of dreams, reaching for impossible prices that dangled from a pole attached to his back while passersby sang to him with a videoke machine.

- Bayang Magiliw/Chosen Land - An anonymous figure in Filipino costume walks from the Cultural Center of the Philippines to Rizal Shrine, the national hero's monument. Along the way, he stops to sing the national anthem 115 times.

Happy 5.jpg
B Niyaan (8).jpg
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Signs of Life [2013]

Upon his landing in the capital from his island home in Cebu, the artist releases his alter egos for the first time on Manila soil inside the walls of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD). His personas unpack themselves from their vessels and experience their first encounters with the natives.

signs of life - MCAD.jpg

Four Performances at the Cove [2011]

Commissioned by the Earth Island Institute, four butoh pieces were performed at the infamous dolphin killing cove in Taiji, Japan. On the shores featured in the 2009 Academy Award-winning film The Cove, dances were offered to the dolphins as rituals of sympathy, apology, and reparation, as well as burial rites for their dead. Witnesses such as conservationists, local police, and Japanese nationalists became captive audiences to the performances.

return to mother ocean - taiji-japan.JPG
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