PHL Pavilion at Venice Biennale opens
In 2015, the Philippines returned to the Venice Biennale—one of the world’s premier art exhibitions—after a 51-year absence. The country’s pavilion at the Biennale that year, “Tie A String Around The World,” focused on culture and geography, particularly on the West Philippine Sea.
This year, the Philippine pavilion bears the theme “The Spectre of Comparison,” and features the works of Filipino-Canadian artist Lani Maestro and US-based Manuel Ocampo and how they “relate to notions of nationhood, diaspora and identity.” Curated by Joselina Cruz, it is one of the national pavilions housed in the Artigliere exhibition space in the Arsenale in Venice.
According to press notes provided by the office of Sen. Loren Legarda, who spearheaded the country’s return to the Biennale, the exhibit “looks at how Maestro and Ocampo see the events of the Philippines and their adopted countries through an inverted telescope, comparing it to the experience of Jose Rizal’s protagonist in Noli Me Tangere, Crisostomo Ibarra, who experienced a double vision when he gazed out at the botanical gardens of Manila.”