The PAVB Coordinating Committee received the formal letter from Mr. Paolo Baratta, inviting the Philippines to participate in the 57th Biennale Arte 2017.
Prof. de Leon wrote to Sen. Loren Legarda informing her of the decision to secure the 320 square meter -Space A in the Artiglierie of the Arsenale, the expansiveness of the space being a far cry from the roughly 17 x 28 sq ft. space given during our first participation in 1964.
A letter was received from Architect Luca D’Azio confirming the availability of Space A and confirming that said space has been reserved for the Philippine Pavilion.
Continuing an open, transparent and democratic selection process as in the previous Philippine participations, an open call for the submission of curatorial proposals was released by the Coordinating Committee for the Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale project. Deadline for proponents to submit was set on July 21, 2016.
The open call advisory was announced through electronic mail blast, postings in the cooperating agency websites and social media reaching more than a thousand recipients in both local and international Filipino art communities.
The PAVB Coordinating Committee received a total of twelve (12) curatorial proposals for the Philippine Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale
An eminent panel of jurors composed of Dr. Eugene Tan, Director of the National Gallery Singapore and curator of the Singapore Pavilion in the 2005 Venice Art Biennale; Ms. Florentina Colayco, President of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and founding director of publishing house ArtPost Asia; Mr. Luis “Junyee” Yee Jr., multi-media and pioneering Filipino installation artist; Senator Loren Legarda in her capacity as principal advocate of the project; and Prof. Felipe de Leon Jr., as then NCCA Chairman and Commissioner of the Philippine Pavilion, reviewed and deliberated on the twelve proposals submitted.
Through a formal statement posted on their respective websites, cooperating agencies NCCA, DFA and the Office of Senator Legarda jointly announced the selection of the official Philippine representation in the 57th Venice Art Biennale: The Spectre of Comparison, curated by Joselina Cruz and featuring artists Lani Maestro and Manuel Ocampo.
Currently, Ms. Cruz is the Director and Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design of the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde. She finished art history at the University of the Philippines and Curating Contemporary Art (MA, RCA) at the Royal College of Art, London. She continues to write essays, reviews, criticism and commentary on art.
The first preparatory meeting for country participants was conducted by Fondazione la Biennale di Venezia at their office in Venice, Italy in the presence of Mr. Paolo Baratta and Ms. Christine Macel, the appointed director and curator of the 57th Biennale Arte 2017. Since 2000, Ms. Macel has been the Chief curator of Centre Georges Pompidou (Musée National d’Art Moderne) in Paris, France.
The meeting was a mutual opportunity for country participants to present the concept of their Pavilions and for curator Christine Macel to present her curatorial theme, “Viva, Arte, Viva”, an affirmation of the vitality of art and a declaration of art as freedom zone.
In this meeting, the Philippines was represented by Consul General Marichu Mauro of the Philippine Consulate General in Milan, Italy.
October – November
A series of ocular visits to the exhibition venue in Venice were conducted by curator Joselina Cruz and artists Lani Maestro and Manuel Ocampo for an exploration of the possibilities and limitations of the space for the exhibition.
December – January 2017
Preparations were made by both artists to produce their respective works while discussions with galleries and private collectors were conducted for the loan of Manuel Ocampo’s artworks.