The Philippine Pavilion titled Tie a String Around the World moves around Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan, a seminal Philippine film made in 1950; co-written and designed by Carlos Francisco; re-edited and annotated by the American writer-critic James Agee; and screened at the Museum of Modern Art and the Venice Film Festival in 1952.
At a tangent to Genghis Khan, the work of Jose Tence Ruiz references the Sierra Madre in the work Shoal. Ruiz evokes the spectral ship as an ambivalent silhouette of a shoal through an assemblage of metal, velvet, and wood. It is the improvised military outpost of the Philippines in the contested territories of the South China Sea. Manny Montelibano presents the multi-channel video piece A Dashed State on the West Philippine Sea. It dwells on the sound of epics and radio frequencies that crisscross the expanse and the vignettes of seemingly uneventful life ways in the islands. From the vantage point of Palawan, threshold to Borneo and the South China Sea, he films the conditions of the impossible: what makes a common sea and where lie frontier and edge, melancholy and migration.
Curated by Patrick D. Flores