Manifesta 11, Zurich
June 11th – September 18th, 2016
Manifesta 11 is a European biennial of contemporary art that began in the early 90s as a reaction to the new cultural, social and political systems that resulted from the Cold War. Reflecting its name, Manifesta displays new contemporary artists and innovations on a dynamic platform that encourages the cultural exchange throughout Europe. Manifesta has metamorphosed the typical notions and practices associated in contemporary art throughout the past ten biennials. As one of the leading art events in Europe, Manifesta occurs every two years in a different European city. Past locations include Rotterdam, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Murcia, Genk and most recently St. Petersburg. This years edition will be the eleventh edition and will be hosted in Zurich.
Every edition is co-organized by Manifesta Amsterdam and Hedwig Fijen, the director; with this years appointed curator, Christian Jankowski, and co-curator, Francesca Gavin. Each edition is a reaction of social, political and geographical conditions in contemporary Europe. “Putting together a Manifesta in Switzerland, a country that – through its system of direct democracy, high standard of living and protectionist foreign policy – is said to have achieved an almost idyllic character,” says Hedwig Fijen.
Manifesta 11 has two principal exhibitions: ‘What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures’ and ‘The Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction’. Through 30 productions ‘What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures’ concentrates on the relationship of international artists alongside Zurich locals, showing artists engaging in perforative art projects with professionals from outside the art world. Some artist’s include Ceal Floyer, Maurizio Cattelan, and Yin Xunzhi. Each artistic project will be exhibited in three different ways: at a satellite venue, in a classical art institution and in the form of a film screened at the Pavilion of Reflections. ‘The Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction’ explores the ways in which current and historical professional worlds have previously been portrayed in art. This exhibition provides conceptual background to the Joint Ventures by “highlighting the history of representation of work in different thematic way,” says Francesca Gavin. Part of the exhibition, and the architectural icon of Manifesta 11, will be the Pavillon of Reflections. The pavilion is a floating platform on Lake Zurich, and will function as a place for dialogue and reflection of the artworks. Also functioning as a centerpiece for events that will show a series of films documenting cataloguing the development of each artwork.