How important are the arts in nation-building?

September 5, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–Just how important are the arts at a time when the country reels from widespread corruption in the government, rising crime rate, and problematic transport system?
For National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman Felipe De Leon, art is integral in nation-building. De Leon said that with the development of the arts, the development of everything else will follow just like during the Renaissance period, when the flourishing of the arts paved the way for social and governmental advances.
“I believe art should be an enabler for development,” Senator Loren Legarda said, echoing De Leon’s statement.
De Leon and Legarda said this at the sidelines of the presentation of the jurors for the Venice Biennale on Friday. The Biennale, organizes international events in the field of the contemporary arts that are amongst the most important of their kind in the world, it’s website said.
For the first time in 50 years, the Philippines is joining the Biennale again.
Foreign jurors are curators Renaub Proch, Mami Kataoka, and sculptor Paul Pfeiffer, whom Legarda acknowledged as a half-Filipino. Art critic Reyes, De Leon, and Legarda are also part of the jury.
Asked what the jurors were looking for in the entries, Proch said that the winning entry should “link local specificities to global concerns,” adding that it would be a “manifestation of the Philippine soul,” and “reflective of the current state of the country.”
“I know that Filipinos have what it takes to be part once again of the Art Venice Biennale. This will also be a big boost to Philippine contemporary art and will provide our Filipino artists and curators the opportunity to be recognized abroad. Hopefully, our participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale will be the start of our strengthened presence on the international stage,” Legarda said.
The Art Venice Biennale 2015 will be held in Venice, Italy from May 9 to November 22, 2015.

Source: Inquirer