(For the lack of "Notes on the Exhibition" by Pedro Dumancas)
I had no idea!
"The 'happy ring', also known as the 'goat's eyelid' (or eye or eyelashes) was first introduced to the Mongol Emperors by Tibetan lamas in the thirteenth century. After a goat was killed, its eyelids were removed together with the eyelashes. First they were put in quick-lime to dry; then they were steamed in a bamboo basket for not less than twelve hours -- this procedure was repeated several times. Once completed the process yielded a sex aid that could be tied round the penis (jade-stem) prior to coitus. The goat's eyelashes were supposed to give the woman a pleasant tickling sensation."
How it arrived in the Philippines is a mystery unless one buys the following talk:
"Their ancient use among Cebuanos startled and scandalized the Spanish clergy. It also fascinated Antonio Pigafetta, the official chronicler of Magellan, who had examined the anatomy of early Cebuanos and wrote in great clinical detail copious notes about this practice. Four centuries later, some Cebuanos are still at it."
The 50 "goat's eyelashes" used by Bacolor in his Mag:net show "Gloat" (50 works, opens on 20 December, runs until 17 January/curated by Nilo Ilarde) were purchased from Quiapo on several trips by the artist because vendors would always run out. Both foreigners and local males and sometimes women would buy them. I asked our installer if he ever tried it and he said he'd use them when he was still single. The building guard who was watching the installation knew about them. A doctor friend who viewed the show said he once had to remove one from a patient's vagina that was stuck in there for two weeks. In facebook, a female friend upon seeing the photo of one of the works posted made a comment, "is this what I think it is or is my mind just in the gutter? ;-)" And so it seems everybody knows except me. And oh yes- 50 works means 25 slaughtered goats with the curator installing all 50 in one straight line, the eyelashes on same level as the artist's schlong.
Glout opens on the 20th of December 2011 and runs until 14 January 2012 at Mag:net Gallery, located at 335 Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1105. For inquiries, contact the gallery at 929.3191 or email Info@mgnetgalleries.com