Cian Dayrit, a young artist whose work has been seen in various notable biennials over the past few years, was among dozens of protesters arrested last week in the Philippines during a protest.
The event marked the 34th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, which was intended to benefit farmers in the Philippines through the redistribution of land. Some have claimed that there has not been enough progress since that program’s passage.
Dayrit, who is based in the Philippines, has considered issues such as these in his painting, sculptures, and installations, one of which currently appears in the Biennale of Sydney. His work also showed at the Kathmandu Triennale in Nepal earlier this year, and has also figured in recent editions of the New Museum Triennial, the Berlin Biennale, and the Gwangju Biennale.
Last week, Artnet News named Dayrit a star of the biennial circuit alongside more well-known artists such as Cecilia Vicuña, Superflex, and Forensic Architecture.
The protest, which involved an activity known as bungkalan (“land cultivation”), took place in Concepcion, a city within the Tarlac province of the Philippines. More than 90 people were reportedly detained during the event by armed police who attempted to break up the cultivation, according to CNN’s Philippines edition.
Sama-samang Artista para sa Kilusang Agraryo, an activist coalition that is composed of artists, has claimed on social media that the protest was peaceful.
The Berlin-based gallery Nome, which represents Dayrit, said in an email to ARTnews that Dayrit and the other protesters had since been released from confinement.
“Thanks to funds sent from all over the world he has been released together with all the other people,” a gallery spokesperson said.