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Legarda Lauds Winning Curator, Thanks Participants in Open Call for PHL Participation in Venice Biennale 2015

September 8, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today lauded Dr. Patrick Flores, whose curatorial proposal was selected by a six-member board of jurors, including three international jurors, for the Philippine pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2015, after a 50-year hiatus from the international contemporary art scene.

“I am happy for Dr. Flores for having been chosen as the curator for our national pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale 2015. His proposal exhibited intellectual rigor and depth and immense creativity. It was actually a tough choice to make because there were many other good proposals. The selection process was a democratic, inclusive process with no less than highly respected and credible people in the international contemporary art world as part of the panel of jurors,” said Legarda, who initiated the country’s return to the prestigious event.

Flores’ proposal titled, Tie A String Around the World, revolves around Manuel Conde’s 1950 film Genghis Khan, co-written and designed by Carlos Francisco, screened at the Museum of Modern Art and at the Venice Film Festival in 1952. Conde and Francisco are both National Artists.

The newly restored film Genghis Khan will be exhibited at the Pavilion and will be positioned in conversation with the contemporary art projects of intermedia artist Jose Tence Ruiz and filmmaker Mariano Montelibano III. The Pavilion seeks to initiate discussion on the history of the sea and its relationship with the current world, claims to patrimony, and the struggle of nation-states over vast and intensely contested nature. It locates the Philippines in the world through its deep ties to ancient cultures, its precocious modern art, and the critical responses of contemporary art to present predicaments. Through the work of artists across generations, this history is told as a history of art and a history of the world.

As she congratulated Flores, Legarda also thanked the other Filipino curators and artists who submitted their proposals.

“We thank all our curators and artists who joined the open call. Though their works were not chosen, we are grateful to them because they joined us in this undertaking and they allowed us to better appreciate Philippine contemporary art. Even our international jurors were very much impressed with the quality of most of the 16 submissions,” she said.

The esteemed panel of jurors, noted names in the field of modern and contemporary art and culture, was composed of Mami Kataoka, Chief Curator, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo; Paul Pfeiffer, New York-based multi-media artist; Renaud Proch, Executive Director, Independent Curators International; Cid Reyes, respected critic, artist, and writer; Felipe M. de Leon, Jr., Chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA); and Senator Legarda, principal advocate and visionary behind the Philippine participation at the Venice Biennale.

The panel deliberated on sixteen (16) proposals for two days from September 4 to 5, 2014, at the NCCA Boardroom in Intramuros, Manila.

“The open call and the deliberation of the panel were important processes not only with regard to our participation at the Venice Biennale 2015, but also for the Philippine contemporary art. I am happy because I can see that this will be a great start to enriching our craft and bringing our Filipino curators and artists to the global contemporary art scene,” Legarda concluded.