“The Spectre of Comparison proposes to bring together two artists, Lani Maestro and Manuel Ocampo, and looks at both artists as emblematic of the experience of Rizal’s devil of comparisons. The exhibition proposes a reading of both the Philippines and the West through their works.”
This forms part of Joselina Cruz’s proposal for the Philippine Pavilion at the 57th Venice Art Biennale to be held on May 13 to November 26, 2017. Cruz’s curatorial proposal was one of 12 received by the Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale (PAVB) Coordinating Committee.
This will be the third consecutive year that the country participates in the Venice Biennale. In 2015, the Philippine Pavilion for the 56th Venice Art Biennale featured the exhibition Tie A String Around The World, under Patrick Flores’s curation. This year, Muhon: Traces of an Adolescent City is on exhibition at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale. Both years our pavilions have been housed at the Palazzo Mora.
For 2017, the Philippine Pavilion will be located at the Arsenale, a historic exhibition space that is “the largest pre-industrial production center of the world,” that used to be the center of military, economic, and political power, but has since become a site of commerce.
Cruz’s proposal was chosen by a jury composed of Doctor Eugene Tan, Director of the National Gallery Singapore; Florentina Colayco, President of the Metropolitan Museum of Manila; Luis “Junyee” E. Yee, Jr., one of the pioneers of installation art in the Philippines; Professor Felipe de Leon, Jr., NCCA Chairperson and Philippine Pavilion Commissioner; and Senator Loren Legarda, principal advocate of the project.
The (PAVB) is also a collaborative undertaking among the the Office of Senator Legarda, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Cruz is Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD) of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. She has a long history of curatorial work both here and abroad, including but not limited to the Lopez Museum from 2001 to 2004, the Singapore Art Museum from 2004 to 2007, as well as the 2nd Singapore Biennale in 2008. She has built MCAD into a space for international contemporary art, featuring exhibitions such as The Surface of The World: Architecture and The Moving Image in 2014 with new work by Filipino and international artists, and Paul Pfeiffer: Vitruvian Figure in 2015 (CuratorsIntl.org).