To further inflect the argument of the Philippine Exhibition in the 56th Venice Biennale, the Philippine artist David Medalla performed “Pangarap sa Panglao” at the Philippine Pavilion, and other key places in Venice.
Microclima, Serra dei Giardini
The first performance on August 18 was held at Microclima in the Serra dei Giardini where Medalla performed an imagined story about the origin of the Filipino.
Vicenza, Veneto region
On August 19, Medalla held a performance in the city of Vicenza. It focused on Antonio Pigafetta, a Venetian explorer born in Vicenza, who travelled with Magellan and came to the Philippines in the 16th Century.
The Philippine Pavilion
The third performance, held at the Pavilion on August 20, started with a discussion among Medalla, Adam Nankervis and Patrick Flores where they talked about the state of Philippine art right before Medalla left the Philippines and the state of Philippine art now, and the geopolitical issues the country is currently facing. Afterwards, the guests wore masks, and helped Medalla sing the Filipino Folk Song “Sitsiritsit Alibangbang.” The performance ended with Medalla and Nankervis tying strings around a plastic globe.
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
The last performance on August 22 was at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Medalla created a story about caterpillars transforming into butterflies, and how this is an allusion to the transforming nature of art.
Medalla is an influential contemporary artist in the Philippines, initiating a significant break from Western modernism and internationalism in Manila in the ’50s. In 1960, he sailed for London. There, he was involved in exhibitions that paved the path for much of what we know as contemporary art today.