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Jurors to Deliberate on Proposals for Phl Pavilion Venice Art Biennale 2019

July 19, 2018

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, will hold the deliberations on the submitted curatorial proposals for the Philippine Pavilion in the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia on July 20, 2018 at the NCCA in Manila.

The open call for curatorial proposals was launched on January 17, 2018 with a deadline set on May 24, 2018. The Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale (PAVB) Coordinating Committee received a total of 12 proposals.

The jurors, composed of three international and two local members, who will deliberate on the submitted proposals are Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Ms. June Yap, Ms. Imelda “Meps” Cajipe Endaya, NCCA Chair Virgilio Almario, and Senator Loren Legarda, principal advocate of the project.

Legarda, a three-term senator who chairs the Senate Committees on Finance, Foreign Relations, and Climate Change, is a staunch advocate of arts and culture. She supports initiatives to promote and preserve the tangible and intangible heritage and to protect the rights of indigenous peoples. She is the visionary behind the Philippines’ return to the Biennale Arte in 2015 following a 51-year hiatus and the country’s first participation in the Biennale Architettura in 2016. The French Government bestowed upon her the title of Knight in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, while the Italian Government also awarded her the title of the Knight in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. Legarda was recently conferred the Doctorate of Laws degree, Honoris Causa, by the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Almario, a National Artist for Literature, is the Chairman of the NCCA and the Head of the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF). Aside from being a prolific writer and critic, Almario has translated works of Nick Joaquin, Bertolt Brecht, Euripides, and Maxim Gorky for theater production. Moreover, he translated works of Jose Rizal, namely Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, which gained him the 1999 award for translation by the Manila Critics Circle.

Dr. Poshyananda is the Permanent Secretary and Acting Minister of the Ministry of Culture, Thailand. He has curated various international exhibitions including the Asia-Pacific Triennial, Istanbul Biennial, Johannesburg Biennale, Sao Paulo Biennial, Sydney Biennale, Venice Biennale. Furthermore, he received 3 medals at National Exhibition of Art in Thailand and was responsible for Tsunami Sculpture Memorial by Louis Bourgeois at Krabi, Thailand.

Yap, a former Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia, was selected by a committee of five esteemed experts in South and Southeast Asian art as the first curator for the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative from 2012 to 2014. She organized the first exhibition in the initiative, No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, focused on the artistic practices and cultural traditions of the region, which traveled to Asia Society Hong Kong Center and to the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. In January 2015, the exhibition of No Country in Singapore received the honor of Best Exhibition of Asian Contemporary Art at the Prudential Eye Awards.

Endaya has gained recognition in the contemporary art for her works focused on identity, gender, race, nation, migration, displacement, and globalization. She was also the co-founder and first president of the KASIBULAN women’s art collective. From 1995 to 2001, she was a member of the Executive Committee on Visual Arts of NCCA and during her stint, she was co-instrumental in consolidating visual artists from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao into a national network. Moreover, she curated the “Who Owns Women’s Bodies?” exhibition for the Creative Collective Center and the Ford Foundation, touring over 12 sites in the Philippines, Thailand and Japan in 2000-2004.

The five jurors will review all 12 proposals to select the winning proposal. Only one proposal is recognized by La Biennale for each participating country. Thus, the formal invitation to participate is coursed through the highest concerned government agency of a country, which in turn initiates a distinct process of selecting and realizing a proposal for the country pavilion.

The selected proposal will officially represent the Philippine Pavilion in Venice for the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, which will be curated by Ralph Rugoff and will run from May 11 to November 24, 2019.

In 2015, the Philippines successfully returned to the Venice Art Biennale following a 51-year hiatus and, in 2016, it mounted its first national pavilion in the Venice Architecture Biennale. The 2015 and 2016 pavilions were housed at the Palazzo Mora. Meanwhile, in 2017, the Philippines has staged a national pavilion at the Arsenale, the largest pre-industrial production center of the world, where national pavilions of participating countries are located.

For the 58th International Art Exhibition (2019), the Board of La Biennale di Venezia has appointed Ralph Rugoff as the curator. Rugoff has been the Director of the Hayward Gallery of London since 2006. He was also the Artistic Director of the XIII Biennale de Lyon in 2015, and has written extensively on art and cultural criticism. He has curated exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery over the past 11 years, such as The Painting of Modern Life (2007), Psycho Buildings (2008) and theInfinite Mix (2016). He has also curated retrospectives and solo shows of Ed Ruscha, an American artist associated with the pop art movement; Tracey Emin, an English artist known for her work that is intensely personal and “confessional;” and George Condo, an American contemporary visual artist who has worked using painting, sculpture and printmaking.  The theme for the 58th International Art Exhibition is May You Live in Interesting Times, a phrase invented by the English but mistakenly “cited as a Chinese curse, which invokes periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil.”[1]

For more information on the Biennale, please contact info@philartvenicebiennale.net or (+632) 5272175.

[1] http://www.labiennale.org/en/news/biennale-arte-2019-outline