Filipino artist David Medalla will give a talk at Tate Britain on Millbank in London on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, at 6:30 p.m.The talk, entitled ‘Synoptic Realism : A Beginner’s Course in the School of Cosmic Beauty’, is linked to the ‘Migrations’ exhibition currently running at Tate Britain. Gilane Tawadros, formerly Director of InIVA (the Institute of International Visual Art) will introduce David Medalla. Adam Nankervis, Director of ‘another vacant space’ in Berlin and Founder of Museum MAN, will deliver the closing remarks.
David Medalla is a legendary figure in world art. He is a pioneer of earth art, kinetic art, conceptual art, performance art, environmental art, participation art, video + film + installation art. His polymorphic art works have been featured in many iconic exhibitions, including three curated by Harald Szeemann: ‘Weiss auf Weiss’ at the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland; ‘When Attitudes Become Form’ at the ICA in London; and the Fifth Documenta Exhibition in 1972 in Kassel, Germany. Medalla’s bubble-machines were shown at the Clocktower Art Gallery in New York in the ‘Travels II’ exhibition, curated by Chris Dercon, the ‘Forece Fields’ exhibition, curated by Guy Brett, at MACBA in Barcelona, at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan, in the ‘Happiness’ exhibition curated by David Elliott, and in ‘L’Informe’, curated by Rosalind Krauss and Yve-Alain Bois, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
More recently, Medalla’s bubble-machines were shown at the Sydney Biennial and at the New Museum in New York. Marcel Duchamp created a ‘Medallic sculpture’ in homage to David Medalla.
French philosopher Gaston Bachelard presented David Medalla’s first performance in Paris at the Academie Raymond Duncan (the brother of Isadora Duncan) in the spring of 1960. French poet Louis Aragon (co-founder with Andre Breton of Surrealism), after seeing Medalla’s drawings and paintings, wrote in Medalla’s address book ‘I love all that you do.’David Medalla edited ‘Signals’, a newsabulletin of the arts and sciences in the 60s in London. He founded the Exploding Galaxy, a confluence of multi-media artists, in 1967.
In 1974, David Medalla co-founded with John Dugger Artists for Democray. From 1975 to 1976, David Medalla co-directed with Nick Payne the Fitzrovia Cultural Centre in London.
From the 70s and throughout the 80s, David Medalla collaborated in a diversity of art projects with several international artists, including Oriol de Quadras, Mark Greaves, Enrico Oliviero, Mark Greaves, Kai Hilgemann, Ezio Falcomer and Steve Cripps. In 1991 David Medalla and Adam Nankervis founded the Mondrian Fan Club in New York City. In 1997, while on a boat with Adam Nankervis, en route to Robben Island off the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, David Medalla conceived the idea of an international participatory art project called the London Biennale. The London Biennale has mounted numerous art events since the start of the new millenium.
American poet Mark Van Doren recommended David Medalla (a child prodigy from the Philippines) as a student at Columbia Univeristy in New York. A few years after his arrival in London, Sir William Coldstream appointed David Medalla staff student advisor at the Slade School of Art. David Medalla worked as a lecturer at Chelsea School of Art and Saint Martin’s School.
David Medalla has also lectured in many educational institutions around the world, including the Sorbonne in Paris, the University of Amsterdam, the University of the Phillippines, the University of Hawaii in Manoa, the University of Texas in Austin, the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Boston College of Art and Design, Hunter College of New York, the British School in Rome, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy. David Medalla performed in the Academy in Venice, the Brera Academy in Milan, and Teatro Filodrammatico of Piacenza, Italy.
David Medalla performed with Shoe Taylor-Guinness in the British Museum. Medalla performed at midnight in Kurt Schwitter’s MERZ Barn in Cumbria. More recently, David Medalla performed with Adam Nankervis at the HIAP sponsored-event, curated by Marita Muukonnen, in KIASMA the museum of contemporary art in Helsinki, Finland. David Medalla’s ‘Coral Island Sculpture’ photo-montage art work is currently on show in the ‘Ends of the Earth : Land Art until 1974′ , curated by Philipp Kaiser and Mi Won Kwon, at MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, California, USA. David Medalla will give a talk about his new projects including the towers of night-blooming flowers in August 2012 at ‘another vacant space’ in Berlin.
In September 2012 David Medalla and Adam Nankervis will perform their ‘Homage to Clarice Lispector’ at Galeria Baro in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In November, the Ateneo de Manila University will confer on David Medalla the ‘Gawad ng Lahi’ Award, to coincide with his solo show entitled ‘Tuloy Po Kayo’ (‘Please Come In : Welcome ! ‘) , curated by Ramon Lerma and the Ateneo Art Gallery team, at the Ateneo Art Gallery in Quezon City, metro-Manila, Philippines.
This year (2012) several books have been published on David Medalla’s art, including a conversation with Nick James, published by CV Archives in London, and a book edited by Purissima Benitez-Johannot published by Vibal Books in the Philippines, with essays on Medalla’s art by Guy Brett and Adam Nankervis and an insightful comment on Medalla the nomadic world artist by American writer John Strausbaugh.