The first ever 2016 London Biennale Pollination Manila: Synchronisation Syncopation will take place from September 15 to October 17 2016. This is an artist-initiated event composed of a series of exhibitions, performances, symposia, and a workshop that will take place in several locations in Manila including the Metropolitan Theatre.
Founded in 1998 by David Medalla, an internationally-acclaimed Filipino conceptual artist based in London, and Australian artist-curator Adam Nankervis, London Biennale aims to challenge and transform the notion of the art world biennale as a large state or corporate-sponsored event by opening borders and encouraging a more intimate and community-based dialogue between artists and audiences.
For the Manila Pollination, 90 artists from 20 countries will explore built heritage sites, as well as temporary and imagined architecture, to reawaken awareness about and appreciation for historically significant forgotten spaces. It seeks to encourage creative exchange among artists, heritage conservationists, the academe, and the general public.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) opened the Metropolitan Theatre on August 31 for a final tour. According to Gerard Lico, consulting architect for the MET Restoration Project, the London Biennale Pollination Manila will be the final event to be hosted in the art-deco theatre before it officially closes for rehabilitation.
Aside from the MET, London Biennale will also be pollinating in key cultural hubs in the metro like Escolta, the Department of Art Studies and Bulwagan ng Dangal in UP Diliman, The Folk Arts Theater in CCP, Galleria Duemila, the PROMDI website, and Project Space Pilipinas.
Other overseas pollinations for the London Biennale will take place in cities like Las Vegas, Rome, Berlin, New York, and Rio de Janeiro. A component activity for the pollination includes a video exchange program with Transart Triennale.