Int’l Reviews Say PHL Pavilion A Must-See at the Venice Biennale 2015

May 15, 2015

Philippine Pavilion 4 (Copy)

At least four international reviews have chosen the Philippine Pavilion as a must-see national pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.


The Philippine Pavilion—exhibiting Patrick D. Flores’ curatorial proposal, Tie A String Around The World, featuring the works of Manuel Conde and Carlos Francisco (for the film Genghis Khan), Jose Tence Ruiz (for the installation Shoal), and Manny Montelibano (for the multi-channel video A Dashed State)—is making an impact in the world’s most prestigious contemporary art exhibition.


Art Radar, an editorially independent online news source on contemporary art across Asia; fine arts auction house Christie’s; ArtsHub, Australia’s leading portal for professionals working within the arts; and a-n The Artists Information Company, all included the Philippine Pavilion in their list of must-see national pavilions at the Venice Biennale 2015.


In selecting the Philippine Pavilion as part of its 10 pavilions to see at the 56th Venice BiennaleArt Radar stressed that, “the Pavilion offers a reflection on the world today and its changing configurations–the volatile meanings of territory, country, nation, border, patrimony, nature, freedom, limit and the “present passing”.


Christie’s, in its pick of the pavilions, says that if one does not have time to visit all national pavilions at the 2015 Venice Biennale, the Philippine Pavilion is among its choice of must-see pavilions.


London-based artist and curator Pippa Koszerek made the Ten… must-see national pavilions list for a-n, a non-profit organization that seeks to stimulate contemporary visual arts practice and affirm the value of artists in society.


Koszerek included the Philippine Pavilion in the list and takes note of the country’s comeback after a 51-year hiatus. She said “the exhibition spans this gap, bringing together three generations of practitioners. Taking Manuel Conde and Carlos Francisco’s 1950s feature Genghis Khan as a starting point and curatorial reference, the exhibition also introduces work from Jose Tence Ruiz and Manny Montelibano, who both explore socioeconomic issues of sea nations, global politics and the volatility of borders through installation and film, respectively.”


Meanwhile, ArtsHub cites the Philippine Pavilion as among The best of the Venice Biennale 2015, saying that “the Philippines has made a great comeback to the Biennale, after fifty years of absence.”


Senator Loren Legarda, the prime mover behind the Philippines’ comeback to the Venice Biennale, said “the attention the Philippine pavilion has been receiving proves the country’s curators’ and artists’ readiness to be part of the global contemporary art scene.”


“We have a robust history of Philippine art and a lively contemporary art scene. Philippine contemporary art is vibrant and attuned to global developments. What it needs is a sustained effort to provide platforms so that it could further widen its perspective and interact more briskly with surrounding impulses,” Legarda added.

The Philippines’ return to the Venice Biennale, 51 years after its first participation in 1964, was made possible through the joint effort of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, and with the support of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines.***



Here are the links to the reviews on the 56th Venice Art Biennale. The Philippine Pavilion is one of Top 10 must-see national pavilions:

1. Art Radar selects 10 national highlights from the Venice Biennale 2015.

2. The best of the Venice Biennale 2015

3. The pick of the pavilions

4. Venice 2015 preview: Ten… must-see national pavilions