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Tie A String Around the World | Philippine Pavilion for the 56th Venice Biennale
9 December 2016 - 18 February 2017
The UP Vargas Museum opens Tie A String Around the World on 9 December at 6 in the evening. This homecoming re-stages the Philippines’ official exhibition at the Venice Art Biennale in 2015, fifty-one years after its first national participation in 1964. It will present the works of Manuel Conde, Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Manny Montelibano, and Jose Tence Ruiz; and a documentation of the collateral initiations of David Medalla in collaboration with Adam Nankervis. Objects that broaden the discourse on worldmaking, such as maps and the lingling-o, as discussed in the Pavilion catalogue will also be exhibited.
Tie A String Around the World is a line taken from the Manuel Conde film Genghis Khanin which the eponymous conqueror promises her beloved to conquer the world and lay it at her feet. The exhibition pivots on Conde’s seminal film, which was reedited and annotated by the American writer-critic James Agee, and screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Venice Film Festival in 1952. Conde collaborated with Carlos Francisco, who co-wrote the script and produced the set designs. Recalling this passage by which Venice first recognized the country through the moving image, the exhibition invites reflection on the changing configurations of the world via the Philippines, and the contentious meanings of nation, border, and territory.
Jose Tence Ruiz responds to Genghis Khan by evoking a spectral ship made of metal and wood, and calls it Shoal. The installation references the vessel Sierra Madre, a military garrison and security detachment deployed by the Philippine government in 1999 that floats on contested waters, and prevails both as “saga and shipwreck.” Manny Montelibano’s multi-channel video titled A Dashed State focuses on the West Philippine Sea, part of the disputed South China Sea. Juxtaposing images of a lush locale and the seemingly slow and ordinary life in the islands with the sound of epics and actual radio frequencies from China, Montelibano’s work probes the history of worldmaking and the history of the sea in the long duration and in relation to the formation of empires, nation-states, and regions.
Source: Vargas Museum Events Page
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