Partial List of ARTISTS at the #MNLBL2018 OPEN CITY FESTIVAL

Dulce Chacon, Chronicles of Two Ports, 2018, Mexican cochineal on canvas, 2 panels, ea. 54.3 x 190.9 in

Exhibition Date:February 21–25, 2018
Collaborators: Brisa Amir (PH), Arca Ceramics (MX), Dulce Chacón (MX), Jose Mari Cuartero (PH), Tad Ermitaño (PH), Indy Paredes (PH).
Baluarte de San Diego Gardens, Manila
Link to MODELAB photo:

MODELAB is an artistic initiative that explores public space attending its past, current dynamics, and the role it plays in society both as environment and architectural materiality. Since 2014, Modelab has organized different projects, in different cities, in close collaboration with artists, scholars and scientists. Modelab is devised by Claudia Arozqueta and Rodrigo Azaola of Mexico City, United States of Mexico.

“WAYS OF SOLITUDE” is a public art project curated by Modelab in the Baluarte de San Diego gardens that explores the role of solitude in the history of Manila. Through a series of interventions involving different media (installation, sound art, painting, gardening, ceramics, stencil art) the project reflects on three periods of Manila’s history in which solitude has a strong presence: the colonial era, the post-war period and the present. An e-publication, including an essay by scholar Jose Mari Cuartero from Ateneo de Manila, will be available for download on the day of the opening at

TINA HS as White Drummer

Photo: Tina Havelock Stevens (Australia) – PERFORMANCE/VIDEO
Performance date: February 21, 2018 Wednesday
Link to Tina Havelock Stevens:

TINA HAVELOCK STEVENS is an artist from Sydney, Australia who works across performance, video, sound and experimental documentary. Havelock Stevens’ background as a documentary film maker and drummer in the post punk music scene has a direct influence on the way she practices. She makes portraits exploring the state of the contemporary world and works in a spontaneous open-ended way that allows for unexpected outcomes. Havelock Stevens’ works have been exhibited at institutions and festivals worldwide with recent shows at Campbelltown Arts Centre, Australia 2017 (Winner Fisher Ghost Prize); Fremantle Biennale 2017; UNSW Galleries, Sydney (John Fries Award Finalist); Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 2017 (The Big Anxiety Festival); MILL 6 Foundation, Hong Kong, 2016; Performance Space, Carriageworks, Sydney 2017 -2015; Bulletspace,, New York, 2014; Dark Mofo  & Mona Foma, MONA, Hobart 2016/2013; Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne 2015/2013; PS 122, New York ,2013; and Artspace, Sydney 2010.

“BEATS OF DARKNESS” is a video and sound work produced in the time frame of a week specifically for Manila Biennale:Open City. Made with a methodology of spontaneous response the artist uses a combination of experimental documentary and drumming performance that tunes into the frequencies of specific sites and place. Using the 1979 film ‘Apocalypse Now’ as a departure point BEATS OF DARKNESS features sites that were once locations for the production shot in areas of Baler. When projected at Intramuros the work acts as a double echo to reflect on the Philippines relations with the US economically, politically and culturally. For Open City the artist will perform the soundtrack as an improvised live score in front of the projection in collaboration with local ethnomusicologist and percussionist Tusa Montes.


Photo: Khan Oral (Germany) and Jo-ta (Bolivia) – PEFORMANCE / VIDEO
February 22, 2018 Thursday. Plaza San Luis
Link to photo of Khan and Jo-Ta:

KHAN OF FINLAND, born of Turkish-Finnish parents in Frankfurt/Germany. 1992-2002 living in New York City, he owned the electronic record shop Temple Records NYC, hosted downtown art events and parties, run three record labels, produced and performed with a variety of artists and projects: Captain Comatose, Tiefschwarz, Air Liquide, Diamanda Galas, Julee Cruise, Kid Congo Powers, Little Annie or Brigitte Fontaine. 2002 he moved to Berlin where he works and lives as a producer, performer, and visual artist. His catalog counts more than 300 physical releases. Group and solo exhibitions worldwide. Theater and soundtrack work for television and feature film including cameos. Khan presented “Angels Of Disguise” photo-book/box-set (Fantome Verlag) at Kassel’s documenta13.

JO-TA, born in Bolivia, he made studies in environmental engineering (BOL) and Master of Arts, Visual and Media Anthropology (DE). In 2009 he started as a Vj working at the Festival LaPazTook, shortly after he joined the collective Oi Mas Bass, with which he organized the Latin American festival Kiebre (2011-2012) in La Paz. He performed with artists like Efecto Mandarina and Bolivia National Symphony Orchestra among others. Also he participated in different audiovisual festivals worldwide. 2014 he was called as Secretary of Culture at the Embassy of Bolivia in Berlin, Germany. Jo-Ta currently works as a Video Artist for Rebeam creating International Networking and he is a partner of VisualCom. His last show was a collaboration with Monom Sound at the opening, founded by 4D Sound in Funkhaus-Berlin.

“PHONE CUE” is a site-specific installation/performance with video projections, sound stream, and light. Artist Statement: “Today we barely see the stars. Bright city lights bleach the skies. We’d rather look at the glow on our cell phones. Today’s stories are told on our Facebook walls. The gods we evoke come as shiny electronic gadgets. We dance in line on eBay sales, we leave our marks on the corner of Instagram and Snapchat. The modern city is the place of our desire. We come to meet our dreams. A dream that seems to expand endlessly and is shared by millions. Still we feel isolated. This project proposes that we have a choice and that there are alternatives to a normative commercial life where citizens are more than mere “purchasing powers”. We do not stand in line for summer sale, we stand in line to dance and celebrate life in the city.”


February 25, 2018 Thursday. Fort Santiago and Puerta Real
Link to photo of Ioana Georgescu:

IOANA GEORGESCU is an artist and novelist born in Bucharest, Romania. She lives in Montreal, Canada. Her work is presented worldwide and encompasses performance art, video-installation, photography, drawing, painting and literary fiction. Her projects are often site-specific and process-based, They interrelate and trigger chains of reactions. They address memory, identity and displacement in relation to body and site. Ioana has exhibited and performed in Barcelona, Berlin, Vienna, Novi Sad, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, New York, Cairo, Yogyakarta and Beijing. She has participated in three international action and media arts festivals in Manila : Tupada’05, Tama’06 and Tutok’08. Open City Manila Biennale 2018 is in continuity and marks her fourth return to the Philippines.

“MANILA CITTÀ APERTA” Two parts work with performance and video-installation components. Water Monument, a collaborative art action at Fort Santiago and Dust Monument: a video projection at Puerta Real. The Manila “open sequence” is part of the Mobile Monuments series. Memory and intersecting histories are experienced and expressed through performing bodies and performing sites. Several bodies are at play: human, architectural and even microscopic. They evolve and interact, crossing virtual and real spaces. A dialogue between past, present, life and death takes place and generates a new narrative.

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Exhibition: February 21 – March 4, 2018. Plaza San Luis
Link to Maylee Todd photo Page:

MAYLEE TODD is a Canadian independent musician, performance artist, producer based in Toronto, Canada. She released her first solo album, Choose Your Own Adventure 2010, and her second record Escapology 2013 on the Do Right Music label. “Baby’s Got It” reached number 10 on the Billboard charts throughout Japan. Todd has performed on the Billboard Live Stage and CrossOver Jazz Fest. Her music covers a wide variety of genres including pop, indie-rock, soul, jazz, electronica, and bossa nova. She has a taste for exotic instruments, and sequencers such as the Paraguayan harp. She is distinguished as a stage performer by her flair for comedy and the dramatic arts. Maylee Todd’s latest project is Virtual Womb.

“VIRTUAL WOMB” is a visual and auditory show, where the audience walks through her work and interacts with video projections. Her work is a place of gestation, rebirth, death, mediation, new ways of thinking and tapping into a collective consciousness; a multimedia show containing interactive therapy, installation, projection mapping and dancing all set to a live musical performance.


Exhibition: February 21 – March 4, 2018. Plaza San Luis
Link to Hamish Lang Photo:

Hamish Lang has a penchant for all things textural and melodic, weaving strands of ambient and electronic music together into a panoramic mix. Growing up with the sound of Billie Holiday played at maximum loudness by his mother who has tinnitus shaped Hamish’s ears towards melancholy and texture. By combining influences that are sometimes contradictory, he creates sounds that are somehow both colourful yet weathered. Currently based in Melbourne, Hamish has been working on games music (for Swibo), sound design (with Ken Wong on the interactive toy Blossom), and also releases music under his own name. Previously working in the deconstructed RnB duo ‘Bad Blocks’, Hamish has moved forward into the realm of texture and cinematic soundscapes, producing his debut album ‘New Atmospheres’ earlier this year. Mixing influences from the stars to the works of modern film composers, he blends an eclectic mix of house, ambient, downtempo, and dreamscapes which perfectly soundtracks any late night walk or early morning run.

“BUHAT (Since) BROKEN” is a reinterpretation of the classic Filipino love song ‘Buhat (Since)’ and a homage to the actor Rosario Moreno through a haunting soundscape. Unfortunately, Rosario’s career came to a tragic end during the Battle of Manila in 1945. Before this, she featured prominently in some of the earliest examples of pre-war Filipino cinema, earning her the title ‘Queen of Tearjerkers’. One of her boldest roles was playing the character Magdalena in the movie Tunay na Ina (or True Mother). The story focuses on Magdalena’s attempt to hide her secret child who was a product of rape from her soon-to-be husband. The story is one of loss, redemption, secrets and, above all, love. The film famously features the song ‘Buhat (Since)’, which is sung multiple times to convey hope and celebration. For the piece ‘Buhat (Since) Broken’, the original song has been reinterpreted into a melancholy soundscape, which stretches and breaks the original song into something familiar yet unsettling. The piece has been eroded using both modern and vintage recording techniques and is broken down, much like the walls of Intramuros were in 1945.

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February 22, 2018 Thursday. Teatrillo at Plaza San Luis
Link to M.O.B. photo:

M.O.B. (REANNE ESTRADA, ELIZA BARRIOS, JENIFER K WOFFORD) For over 15 years, these three San Francisco based artists have worked collaboratively as Mail Order Brides/M.O.B., a trio of Filipina-American artists engaged in an ongoing conversation with culture and gender. While other mail order brides are conventionally perceived as ideal obedient domestics, it has not escaped this trio’s attention that, acronymically speaking, “Mail Order Brides” abbreviates down to a more sinister acronym that informs the darker subtext of their operations. Taking matters into their own well-manicured hands, the Brides deploy their innate charm, guile, and fine fashion sense to gently pry open the eyes of the closed-minded. Enforced enlightenment has arrived in the form of karaoke videos and museum makeovers, in photographic psychodramas and parade performances, in bridesmaid entrepreneurships and corporate dominations. M.O.B. “hits” have included the de Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission, Southern Exposure (San Francisco, CA), the San Jose Museum of Art, the Triton Museum of Art (San Jose, CA), Drive-By Cinema (San Diego, CA), McColl Center for Visual Art (Charlotte, NC), Green Papaya Art Projects (Manila, Philippines). Their video screenings include the S.F. International Asian American Film Festival, the S.F. International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the New York Mix Festival and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

“MANANANGGOOGLE” is a dark fantasia of corporate production, “Manananggoogle,” in the Teatrillo C-Suite (Dungeon). The founders/chief officers of Manananggoogle Inc. are allowing visitors to the C-Suite a rare window into the machinations of a formidable female future. Lean in, bend over: underground and overseas, an intoxicating and intimidating evening of corporate bloodlust awaits.

Photo: Caroline Garcia – PERFORMANCE
February 22, 2018 Thursday. Teatrillo at Plaza San Luis.
Link to Caroline Garcia photo:

CAROLINE GARCIA is a culturally promiscuous, interdisciplinary artist. She works across live performance and video through a hybridised aesthetic of cross-cultural dance, ritual practice, new media, and the sampling of popular culture and colonial imagery. Caroline’s practice is shaped by alterity. In her work, she centers peripheral bodies by adopting the role of shape shifter – sliding into the gaps between cultures, experiences of otherness, and timeless clichés of exotic femininity. She takes an intersectional approach to contemporary dance (read: twerking), the politics of diasporic identity and notions of cultural piracy. She is concerned with reimagining forgotten choreographies, alternate ways of viewing images of the past that eschew classical myths, and the mimetic capacities of the Filipina. Caroline has presented at The Art Gallery of NSW, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Institute of Modern Art (QLD), The Art Gallery of Western Australia and Fremantle Arts Centre for Proximity Festival (WA), Underbelly Arts Festival, Channels: The Australian Video Art Festival (VIC), Junction Arts Festival (TAS), and Art Month Sydney, among others. She has exhibited at the ACMI, CCP, The Substation, Firstdraft, Sydney Contemporary, The Sydney Film Festival Hub, BLINDSIDE, Blacktown Arts Centre, Penrith Regional Gallery, and UTS ART. Caroline’s latest work Flygirl, was recently developed at The Curtis R. Priem EMPAC Residency in New York, facilitated by Australia Council for the Arts.

“THE BREATH OF DEATH” is a new and interdisciplinary work, that will be presented across the platforms of performance, dance, installation and video art. The main performative component of this work will explore the practice of using a ‘blowgun,’ a simple weapon consisting of a narrow, long tube for firing light projectiles or darts. This weapon uses force created by one’s breath to give the projectile momentum, limited by the user’s respiratory muscles. The blowgun, also known as the sumpit is still used by indigenous groups from the Philippines, including natives from Palawan and Sabah (formerly part of Mindanao) for hunting or warfare. This blowgun performance interrogates ethnographic images of ‘the savage’ as well as subverting gendered forms of labour and war, especially in regards to the military.



February 24, 2018 Saturday. Puerta Real Gardens
Link to TOQA photo:

TOQA is the project of Isabel Sicat and Aiala Valdovino: a sport resort brand whose primary purpose is to situate sustainable high fashion in a tropical locale using site-specific materials. Toqa is defined as a fashion company, but their processes, design credo, and research component places it as a performance act as well.

“TOQA SEASON ONE: MANILA, LUZON” is an assemblage process performance piece using dead stock (mesh) sourced from Divisoria. These fabrics are dyed with unconventional agents such as “Tang” or other colorants found specific to the Manila milieu. This finite amount of raw material will only be produced once for each season and in limited series. These explorations results in an article that is both clothing and art object. A reflective act of a particular material, in a particular place, and in a particular moment in time – never to be repeated again. Feb 24th is the international debut of Toqa, Season One: Manila, Luzon.


RENE AQUITANIA is a pioneering durational performance from the Cordilleras. His art interventions and guerrilla work situates his rich ancestral heritage in the present time, examining the thread that binds communities. Famously known for “Art for Peace”, where he pushed a kariton over two hundred kilometres from Baguio to Manila, his performances are inventive meditations on our fragmented times. “WALKING STILL” a landmark retrospective spanning three decades of his artistic work, is currently running at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines.

“MACAPILI” is a eulogy for the members of the Makabayang Katipunan ng Pilipino, who were coerced by the Japanese Imperial Army to point out members of the guerrilla forces. These Filipinos were promised land, money, and safety but were left wanting. In the aftermath of the war, many of them were indicted for treason. In a conversation with the streets of Intramuros, the performance examines the guilt weighing on the conscience of their spirits by questioning the pervading history and proposing the question: were they truly traitors, or were they victims?


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