Thursday, October 12, 2006

Review of Eileen Tabios' POST BLING BLING by Garin Cycholl

We all live in a company town. That much seems clear. The question of how we inhabit that town is the question addressed by Eileen Tabios's Post Bling Bling, a pair of cross-genre works. Here, Tabios investigates marketing culture through found and shared language in tightly defined moments, a collection of e-mails by Filipino ŽmigrŽs over four days in May 2005 and a summer issue of Vanity Fair.

The magazine's advertisements comprise the found texts of the first work, "Post Bling Bling." Peeled from slick pages, the marketed identities proclaim themselves. In serious stride, Robert DeNiro embraces: "My Life: / My Card: / AMERICAN EXPRESS." At Vegas' Mandalay Bay, you're invited to "Be Yourself At Home / Topless / Wet / White." The metal and verbal technologies craft "the new" in the Lexus hybrid, "not just the debut of a new car, but of a new category." The travel professionals with Ritz Carlton remind us, "THE BEACH IS SERVED / on a silver platter." In the end, it is "Your Choice. Your Chase. . . Subject to Credit Approval." Of course, this play can be extended to the book's front cover, a photograph of a south Pacific beach shadowed by familiar trademarks. We can read this beach in every dimension of authorship as well; the beach itself is trademarked. But is this marking done by the marketers or the author (her name and the book's title as prominent as the well-known circles, ambiguous squares, and swoosh of corporate logo)? The beach seems deserted by all but the photographer. How "dead" is the author? Capitalism itself? more...


Post a Comment

<< Home