Island Weather for the Philippine Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019

I am very happy to share that artist Mark Justiniani and I will work together on an exhibition project for the Philippine Pavilion at the Venice Art Biennale 2019. Island Weather expands my research and curatorial work on place making and place histories. Mark will construct an immersive environment at the Arsenale, articulating further his  interests in the nature of perception through optics and technology that are vernacular in origin and form. More news and updates from the Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale social media page. 


Curatorial brief

Islands are at the core of this exhibition project as it crafts and proposes new imaginaries of place-histories.

Islands connote origins and leave-takings. Islands are simultaneously finite and endless because bound by land and open to sea. They intimate grounding yet their very nature is movement: the shifting of earth, the crawl of clouds, the crash of waves, the very weather itself.

Islands are malleable and allow ‘grand designs’.These designs shape the investigations the exhibition will take, as it lays out a trail marked by imposing and beguiling structures and forms. Image, sound and movement will be explored in a site-specific and site responsive installation project, an immersive environment to simulate a voyage – an island hop. The trail will consist of tableaus: expansive sceneries that combine history, fantasy and myth; signposts to our histories, an archipelago strung along a fraught past and uncertain future, burdened by the legacies of colonial history and the weight of protracted modernity.

Island Weather also references a vernacular quip for the fleeting nature of power. It deepens artist Mark Justiniani’s investigation of vision and its role in the construction of truth. It is aimed at deepening our conversations on ways of seeing and means of perception, the nature of space and the constructs of time. In a piece where stillness and movement are combined and contrasted, where journeys are simulated, the history of a nation is refracted to conjure an image of radical hope.

The journey the art project will take will be on islands drifting on bodies of water, in a manner similar to the way art buoys the spirit, its capacity to keep us afloat. Imagination’s terrain cannot be fully charted as do the edges and limits of the human will.

Art after all, remains the last frontier of an agency rooted in imagination and mobilised through hope.

Courtesy visit to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, with Chair Virgilio Almario, past Chair Felipe de Leon and artists Mark Justiniani and Joy Mallari