Present Superstition (2011)

Luna’s gift economy is not an economy of abundance. Nor does it predicate reciprocity. These gifts, beautifully wrapped, are artifacts of withdrawn affections, whose ends the artist encapsulated in metal alphabets that spell “YOU LOST ME A LONG TIME AGO.”

Luna has long been fetishisizing the everyday, inducing meaning out of common objects by fusing unrelated ideas such as guns and lace, or words and shadows. Now, she puts together grief and gift. There is a discreet atmosphere of scarcity and longing in each of these, as if these are tombstones of past lovers’ vows, lovingly wrapped by the artist to reinforce what they represent at present: vague valuables.  Unopened, they have reached the end of their purpose. They cannot be given back, nor will they ever be accepted. The gift economy requires the exchange to be more than back and forth lest the gifts become poison.

Hence, Luna’s offering, an attempt at widening the circle. Beyond material, the concept of gift is that of bestowed virtues and interestingly, in folk tales, the one who clings on to the gift dies. The damning gold words are light enough to be whisked away. The gifts, on the other hand, are unmoveable with weight and nostalgia. The woman has given up and is giving out. The weight of reciprocity, of mind-numbing conformity, is finally in limbo.

Adjani Arumpac