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Talk by Merv Espina – Barons, Backlash, and Biennials
1 February @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
A discussion of the legacy of VIVA Excon (Visayas Islands Visual Arts Exhibition and Conference) within the context of art biennials and festivals in Asia with artist and curator Merv Espina. The event is free and open to public with registration.
Launched in 1990, VIVA Excon is the longest-running art biennial in the Philippines. Initiated by Black Artists in Asia, a Bacolod-based artist organisation formed in 1986, the biennial has been led and organised by artists since its inception. In this talk, Espina examines biennials that are not located in major cities in Asia and explores how they transform the local art infrastructure as well as revealing how artists change the scope of these large-scale exhibitions.
Merv Espina is program director of Metro Manila-based Green Papaya Art Projects, an artist-led initiative established in 2000, which is directing the fourteenth edition of VIVA Excon in November 2018. He is currently conducting research on the exhibition history of VIVA Excon for Green Papaya’s collection, which includes more than 300 artist-donated artworks. This collective archive also includes a wealth of material on the Metro Manila art scene, which has a distinct history of experimental art.
Image: (left to right) Black Artists in Asia core members Nunelucio “Nune” Alvarado, Charlie Co and Norberto “Peewee” Roldan. Taken at Alvarado’s studio in Bacolod circa 1983. Courtesy of Green Papaya Art Projects.