Former Canadian resident’s work  at Philippine Pavillion

BY Ted Alcuitas

Lani MaestroThe newest work in Lani Maestro’s Philippine Pavilion presentation at the Venice Biennale is meronmeron
(2017), a series of benches, visible in this photo, that Maestro hopes is an invitation to viewers to an invitation to “pause, to be with oneself alone, or be alone with others.” Photo: Andrea D’altoe. Courtesy of the Philippine Pavilion.

 

 

Lani MaestroThis neon work by Lani Maestro, hanging in the Venice Biennale’s Philippine Pavilion, was originally created for an exhibition at Centre A in Vancouver. Photo: Paolo Luca. Courtesy the Philippine Pavilion.

“I think the emotion or feeling this particular artwork evokes touches everyone. The Biennale is not an impoverished location, but perhaps a certain kind of impoverishment or homelessness also inhabits each and everyone of us,” she told CanadianArt in an interview.

“In the weeks that we have been working, I have observed people around us—cleaning ladies, builders, painters, security guards, curators, artists—looking, watching, talking, but also making comments from afar as the installation was slowly coming together. So there is already a reverberation of some kind, even before the work has been finalized.”

 

Lani MaestroLani Maestro’s neon artwork in the Philippine Pavilion (at left) with paintings by Manuel Ocampo (at right). Photo: Paolo Luca. Courtesy of the Philippine Pavilion.

Maestro told CanadianArt that “teaching made me “study” enormously, as I approached pedagogy as learning together with my students. But, like everything else, universities and colleges were changing rapidly during my teaching years with the introduction and advancement of technology. At some point, it bothered me that I did not hear the word “inspiration” being uttered anymore. And I also remember the time when students began to refer to art as an “industry,” and set their goals merely towards gallery representation and the like.”

Lani MaestroA visitor views Lani Maestro‘s neon work at the Venice Biennale’s preview for the Philippine Pavilion. As Maestro writes, “the Biennale is not an impoverished location, but perhaps a certain kind of impoverishment or homelessness also inhabits each and everyone of us.” Photo: via Philippine Arts in Venice Biennale Facebook page.