Ateneo art gallery (Manila, Philippines)
24.11.2021 – 12.03.2022
Renowned conceptual artist Antoni Muntadas launches his first exhibition in Manila titled Muntadas: Exercises on Past and Present Memories in collaboration with the Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) and Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla (CAAC). Muntadas presents three projects that translate memories and histories of the Philippines and Spain and their relevance to contemporary history
Antoni Muntadas (b. 1942) is considered one of the pioneers of multimedia installations and urban interventions. With his art practice spanning over four decades, he develops projects through collaborative research to create site-specific works that resonate with local issues and experiences. He first visited Manila in 2019 and his brief encounter with the city led him to further investigate the past and present of Spain’s former colony. Fortuitously, the project coincides in time with the commemoration of the quincentennial of the circumnavigation of the globe, as well as with the period of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19.
The idea of movement from the themes of globality and transnationality is central to the works of Muntadas. These concepts can be observed as early as the 16th century, during the height of the Manila – Acapulco Galleon trade, where and when mobility and travel were necessary for commerce and economic development. Starting in Seville in 1565, the galleons stopped by Mexico City and Acapulco for overland trade before sailing to reach the port of Manila. The route also linked Manila with China, and by extension, with other parts of Southeast Asia such as Japan and India. The Manila Galleon trade brought about the economic and cultural exchanges between the East and West, a system that has been considered to be the beginning of globalization.