Monday, 28 September 2009

Hurricane "Katrina" no match to Philippine Typhoon "Ondoy"

Last Saturday was freaky with the deluge that caught Manila unaware. The 24-hour continuous rainfall left some areas in Manila under 20-feet of water due to poor drainage systems, failed infrastructure (pumping stations broken, creeks collapsed) and unexpected amount of rainfall. The total rainfall was 455 millimeters which is a month's worth of rainfall. Katrina had only 250 millimeters of rain.
The death toll has reached 86 and still counting. The number of affected families across Luzon has swelled to 69,513 (about 337,216 people). The partial total number of evacuees has also reached 11,967 families (about 59,920 people) who are staying in 118 evacuation centers, National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) data showed.
A state of national calamity has been declared over 27 provinces in 7 regions, as well as in the NCR. The provinces included are Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Benguet (CAR); Pangasinan, La Union, and Ilocos Sur (Region I); Isabela, Quirino, and Nueva Vizcaya (Region II); Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, and Bataan (Region III); Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (Region IV-A); Mindoro Occidental, Mindoro Oriental, and Marinduque (Region IV-B); and Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur (Region V).

If you want to help, pls donate to :

Toll Free 1-800-527-2820
Account Name: ABS-CBN Foundation Inc.
Account No. 5630020111
Routing code for international cash donations

American Red Cross
Toll Free 1-800-435-7669

If you are in Manila, here’s a list drop off points for relief goods or volunteer areas where you can sort and pack goods:

Videos of Tropical Ondoy:

Friday, 4 September 2009

The 53rd Venice Biennale

First Stop: biglietteria
I was fortunate to visit Venice this year and attend La Biennale di Venezia's 53rd international art exhibition dubbed Fare Mondi, Making Worlds , the largest contemporary art exhibit in the world or referred to as the Olympics of the art world. The term biennale is italian for every two years.

Over 163,000 visitors have attended the exhibit since its opening on June 7, 2009. There are 104 artists and 63 pavilions (77 participating countries) in the two main venues - Giardini (Gardens) and Arsenale (Arsenal), and 44 collateral events located in various venues in the city.

At the Giardini
The curator is Swedish Daniel Birnhaum, who at 48, is the youngest in the history of the biennale to curate the exhibtion. He said "this is an exhibition without sections, articulating different themes woven into one whole. Placing particular emphasis on the biennale as a site for production and experimentation, it will involve projects that probe the possibilities of the built world... It is an exhibition driven by the aspirations to examine the worlds around us as well as worlds ahead."

The 53rd beinnale will run until November 22 this year, so if you get the chance to go to Venice, visit the show and don't miss my favs:

@ the Giardini:
1) Swedish clay sculptor and claymation filmmaker Nathalie Djurberg"s Experimentet. She was awarded the "Silver Lion" for a Promising Young Artist at the Biennale this year.
2) Miguel Barcelo's ceramics, paintings and videos in the Spanish Pavillon
3) Tomas Saraseno elastic ropes installation called Galaxies Forming along Filaments like Droplets along the strands of a Spider Web (2009)
4) John Baldessari's Six Colorful inside Jobs (1977), video projection 32'57"
5) Yoko Ono’s Instruction Pieces (1960-2009)
6) Tobias Rehberger deisgned the cafeteria he calls Was du liebst, bringt dich auch zum Weinen
7) Gigantic multi-screen video installation of Krzysztof Wodiczko's called Guests (2009) at the Poland pavilion
8) Scandinavian pavilion featuring a group exhibition of 24 artists curated by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset called The Collectors
9) Bruce Nauman's Fifteen Pairs of Hands bronze cast (1996) in the USA pavilion which won the top "Golden Lion" award.
10) Victory over the Future, Russian Pavillon
11) Steve Mc Queen's film Giardini at the British Pavilion
11) Koo Jeong’s A. ephemeral sounds of bees – because I swear, I couldn’t hear it…
12) try to spot the sculptural interventions of Andre Cadere (Barres du bond rond) his pieces are inserted into artists’ exhibits or in spaces all over Giardini.

@ the Arsenale
1) Brazillian's Lygia Pape three dimensionality installation 'tteia I, C, gold thread in square forms (2002)
2) Hector Zamora's social intevention called Sciame di dirigibili (2009), a festival of dirigibles in video format, miniatures and an actual airship.
3) Pascale Martine Tayo's african village sculpture and installation Human Being (2007-2009)
4) HKG artist Paul Chan's video Sade for Sade's Sake (2009)
5) Budhist artist Gongkar Gyatso The Shambala in Modern Times, a thangka-like painting made out of stickers, paper-cuts on treated paper.
6) Paul Ramirez Jonas' Luna del Papel (2009) made out of words "yo", "creo", "como", "hablo" typed on an 8.5 x 11 bond paper
7) Tamara Grcic's Gaggiandre (2009) composed of 17 life rafts, 17 microphones and 12 loudspeakers
8) Take a boat across to see Jan Fabre gigantic installation From the Feet to Brain
9) Italian Pavillon's two videos: Masebo (artists Nicolo Massazza and Jacopo Bedogni) two screens that eerily show in slow-motion the story of a woman always about to drown in the sea, and a man trying to get rid of a parachute in the snow and Valerio Berutti's line drawing animation La Figlia di Isacco (2009)

Collateral - I didn't have time to see all the collateral exhibits. My favorite though is Glass Stresse group show featuring glass works of various artists. There are two venues - Rialto is tiny but free entrance and at Instituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti is Euro 5.

And of course, don't forget to check out the other exhibits:
1. Mapping the Studio: Artists from the Francois Pinnault at the Palazzo Grassi and at the recently opened venue designed by Tando Ando called Punta della Dogana. Buy the Euro 20 ticket for the two venues which is valid for three days. Artists featured are Jeff Koons, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Cy Twombly, Takashi Murakami and Jake & Dinos Chapman and emerging artists Matthew Day Jackson, Adel Abdessemed, Wilhelm Sasnal, Rob Pruitt, Richard Hughes, Nate Lowman, Mark Bradford and Kai Althoff.
2. Peggy Gugenheim collection and the ongoing collateral exhibit Polar Glut (1987) featuring riveted metal works by Robert Rauschenberg. A bit tricky to find the museum but the locals will take the time out to lead you there...
3. Rebecca Horne's Fata Morgana at the Piazaa San Marco.