The Filipino word muhon, derived from the Spanish mojón and translated roughly as “monument” or “place-marker,” evokes contemplation through the primal act of marking a fixed point in both space and time. Symbolically, the construction of a muhon can be considered an act of affirming one’s existence: it conveys the idea of staking a claim in the universe. The exhibition is anchored on the notion that the interpretation of the built environment is a critical method of understanding one’s sense of and belonging to a place. It is a way of tracing a presence, standing one’s ground, defining a position.
As it stands today, the megalopolis of Metro Manila arose from the ruins of an older colonial city virtually leveled by the Second World War. The re-born capital has been growing at a frenetic pace since then. As such, it is conceived in its current context as an adolescent city in flux—restless and awkward—and in many ways, raging.
Conceptually, “adolescence” describes the struggle for identity that Metro Manila now confronts as a somewhat disorienting assemblage of cities. Through the selective investigation of nine post-war buildings and urban elements by architects and artists, Muhon aims to elicit conjectures that wrestle with the diametrically opposed vectors of progress and of permanence relative to attendant beliefs in modernity. It essays the various implications of the careless destruction of a fraught architectural inheritance and the lack of consciousness about lineage and the present situation. It reveals emerging intuitions about the subjectivity of a city.
In tracing each muhon through its history, modernity, and conjecture, the Pavilion is an attempt to cast the character of a city’s identifying markers – to interpret their meaning, and to discern their value. It aspires to be a platform for a collaborative and collective act of reflection on a built environment perceived to be either on the brink of vital renewal or irreversible decay.
The Philippines’ historic first participation at the International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia is a collaborative undertaking of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Office of Senator Loren Legarda.
Exhibitor/Participants: Poklong Anading, Eduardo Calma, Tad Ermitaño, LIMA Architecture (Don Lino and Andro Magat), Mañosa & Company, Inc. (Bambi Mañosa), 8×8 Design Studio Co. (Mary Pearl Robles & Adrian Lorenzo Alfonso), Mark Salvatus, C|S Design Consultancy, Inc. (Anna Maria Sy-Lawrence, Charm Chua Cabredo, Regina Sofia Gonzales, Luther Maynard Sim, Mervin Afan, Lea Celestial, Katrin Ann P. de Leon, Philip Mendoza, Raquel G. Orjalo, Karen Tillada), Jorge Yulo
tue, wed, thu, fri, sat, sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Palazzo Mora, Cannaregio 3659