CALL FOR CURATORIAL PROPOSALS: Philippine Participation at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale 2018

June 16, 2017


Following the country’s inaugural participation in 2016, 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, announces the OPEN CALL FOR CURATORIAL PROPOSALS for the Philippine participation at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, initiated by la Fondazione la Biennale di Venezia . The search is spearheaded by the NCCA through the office of Chairman Virgilio S. Almario, who also serves as the Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion. The selected curatorial proposal will officially represent the Philippines in this important global exhibition platform of contemporary architecture. In enhancing the presence of our participation, the Philippine Pavilion will be realized at Artiglierie in Arsenale, the major venue of the Venice Biennale.


The proposals are expected to respond to the issues of contemporary architecture in the Philippines and elsewhere and must be sensitive to the general vision of the curators of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale.



Filipino citizens who are architects, curators, practising artists from the different disciplines, urban planners, ecological activists, geographers, historians and critics of space, heritage workers, and others are encouraged to participate. The CALL is open to proposals by a single curator or by a team of two curators.



A preliminary jury will shortlist proposals from among the submissions. A meeting with the proponents of the shortlisted proposals will be held. A final panel of jurors will convene to deliberate on the final proposals submitted by the shortlisted proponents. The final panel will select one curatorial proposal that will represent the Philippines at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale.


With the support of all the cooperating agencies through the Coordinating Committee of the Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale (PAVB), the selected proposal will be realized in the Philippine Pavilion in the Arsenale in Venice to be opened on May 26, 2018 and will run untilNovember 25, 2018.


Defining Architecture in the context of la Biennale di Venezia

The term architecture is conceived broadly in the context of the Biennale. It is not confined to built form and the planned and designed environment. In the imagination of the Biennale, it refers to the range of ways in which space is sensed, appropriated, inhabited, transformed, and conceptualized in relation to an array of relationships playing out in the field of history and culture. In other words, architecture is rendered responsive to the contemporary conditions and therefore becomes a central concern not only of professional architects but of other social agents and space makers as well who are keen to reflect on the complex situations of space and its making in current social life.


Since architecture is located within an expanded field and becomes an extensive term to refer to a gamut of articulations, the proposal for the Philippine Pavilion benefits from a wide latitude of interpretation. It can freely converse with historical artifacts at the same time that it involves contemporary artists across media. It can speculate on geographies of migration alongside a reflection on the cycle of calamities that constantly remake the natural terrain. It can be an ethnography of a place and its densities; a thesis on the speed and sedimentation of a street or a city; a critique of how power constructs a square or a house; and an argument on how people recast their myriad loci performatively. These are only some of the options and permutations in the ever-shifting, though never groundless, algorithms of the architectural.



Text taken from

The Board of La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, met on January 16th 2017 and appointed Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara as curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in 2018.


Famous for working as a team, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara live and work in Dublin, where they graduated from the School of Architecture of University College and co-founded the firm Grafton Architects in 1977.


On the occasion of this decision, President Paolo Baratta declared:

“The Exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena offered visitors a critical overview of the worldwide evolution of architecture and underlined how important it is that a qualified demand on the part of individuals and communities be met by an equally effective response, thereby confirming that architecture is one of civil society’s instruments for organizing the space in which it lives and works.


Along these lines, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara will continue to address the same theme but from the point of view of the quality of the public and private space, of urban space, of the territory and of the landscape as the main ends of architecture. The curators, who are well-known for the refinement of their work, are also known for their intense didactic activity and their ability to involve and fascinate new generations.”



Content of the Proposal

  1. Title of the Exhibition
  2. Curatorial Concept (800 -1,000 words only)
  3. Proposed Exhibition lay-out
  4. CV of Proponent/s (please include 3 major sample works)
  5. CV of the Exhibitor/s (please include 3 major sample works)
  6. Budget (production of works only)
  7. Production Timeline
  8. Contact Information


Qualifications of Proponent/s

  1. Natural-born Filipino citizens and Filipinos with dual citizenship upon submission of application
(Please attach proof of identification and citizenship)
  2. Have participated in at least one international contemporary exhibition or related Projects platforms

Qualifications of Exhibitors

  1. Natural-born Filipino citizens and Filipinos with dual citizenship upon submission of application
(Please attach proof of identification and citizenship)
  2. Have participated in at least one national exhibition or an equivalent record in related projects/platforms

Curatorial Responsibilities

  1. Determine the curatorial direction of the exhibition
  2. Manage the concretization of the curatorial proposal from the preparatory phase to the mounting of the exhibition in Venice
  3. Initiate a consultative process between and among exhibitor/s and the PAVB Coordinating Committee
  4. Supervise the exhibitor/s in realizing the curatorial concept
  5. Prepare the production schedule of the exhibition and manage its implementation
  6. Prepare content and collaborate with a designer for the exhibition catalogue 
and other printed materials of the exhibition
  7. Write exhibition notes and wall texts for the exhibition
  8. Prepare write-ups on the exhibition for the official la Biennale catalogue 
and for promotional purposes of the Philippine participation at the 
Venice Biennale
  9. Edit and write for the catalogue and other collateral materials

10.Coordinate with the Philippine Arts Venice Biennale (PAVB) Coordinating Committee

11.Officially represent the Philippines in all meetings, events and other activities related to the Architecture Biennale

12.Propose collateral events for the Pavilion and help manage its implementation

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Download open call proposal form
  2. Submit the completed form and ALL the necessary documents only via email to [email protected], with subject heading “Curatorial Proposal,” on or before 30 August 2017.
Emailed proposals will be duly acknowledged upon receipt.

Deadline of Submission: 30 August 2017 (local date and time)

(Late submissions will not be accepted)


Announcement of Result: on or before 30 September 2017


Contact Information:

Email: [email protected]

Landline: (+632) 527 – 2175