Message of Senator Legarda: Performance of David Medalla

August 20, 2015

Message of Senator Loren Legarda
(Delivered by NCCA Chairman Felipe de Leon Jr.)
Performance of David Medalla
at the Philippine Pavilion in Venice Biennale 2015
20 August 2015 | Palazzo Mora, Venice, Italy

I was all set to leave for Venice and join you in this event, which I conceived of upon meeting one of the greatest Filipino artists of our time, David Medalla, except that my 82-year-old father was once again brought to the hospital and as the eldest and only daughter, I need to take care of him. So I requested Chair Jun de Leon to read my message.

I never would have imagined that this gathering will happen, here at the Philippine Pavilion, in front of the inimitable David Medalla.

I met him a few years ago in an event of the Philippine Embassy in London. I was immediately comfortable and engaged. In those few hours of intellectual discourse, I felt grateful and honored for I was in the presence of a genius, a dynamic and inspiring icon for many of our Filipino artists. Since then, I dreamt of having a David Medalla show.

Bringing back the Philippines to the Venice Biennale after a fifty-one year hiatus was just a dream, which has now thankfully become reality. Having Mr. Medalla perform at the Philippine Pavilion today was truly beyond my expectation. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would encounter a David Medalla, much less arrange such an event.

I would like to thank the PAVB Coordinating Committee for helping me fulfill this project. It is not easy to get Mr. Medalla for a performance especially with his various projects and commitments. Indeed, it is a major feat for the Philippine Pavilion to have not just one, but three performances of Mr. Medalla in very prestigious spaces—the Microclima in Giardini, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and Palazzo Mora side by side with our Tie A String Around The World.

David, thank you for allowing this to happen, for making our comeback to the Venice Biennale more memorable and spectacular.

How I would have wished to be with you today as you witness the phantasmagorical performance of Mr. Medalla. I am but confident that it will be unpredictable, spellbinding, exciting and most of all, thought-provoking. Today is another milestone for Philippine contemporary art, for history and for our country.