Debates on Contemporary Art Exhibitions and Biennials in Post-Wall Europe
Reflections from curators, historians, philosophers, anthropologists, architects, and writers on the cultural and political conditions of European exhibition practice since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Manifesta, the first itinerant European Biennial for Contemporary Art, emerged in a post-wall, globalizing Europe. Founded in 1993, it organized traveling exhibitions aimed at providing a new framework for cultural exchange and collaboration between artists and curators from across the continent. The Manifesta Decade marks Manifesta's ten years of exhibits with original essays, unpublished images, and texts that not only document the different Manifesta exhibits but also examine the cultural, curatorial, and political terrain of the Europe from which they sprang.Including contributions from philosophers, historians, and anthropologists, interviews with architect Rem Koolhaas and historian Jacques Le Goff, and essays by such curators and writers as Okwui Enwezor, Boris Groys, Maria Hlavajova, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the collection traces the cultural and political developments of Europe in the 1990s. It reflects the debates incited by exhibitions such as Magiciens de la Terre, Documenta, and After the Wall and explores the changing roles of curators and artists in the new geo-political context. The issues discussed include the effect of communism's collapse on Eastern Europe, the role of Biennials in the context of globalization, and the ephemerality of exhibitions versus the permanence of the museum. The book's second section traces the history of Manifesta, from its conceptual foundations and contributions to artistic practices of the 1990s to the relationship of a roving Biennial to themes of multiculturalism, migration and diaspora. At a moment when biennials continue to proliferate worldwide, The Manifesta Decade takes Manifesta as a case study to look critically at the landscape from which new exhibition paradigms have emerged. The book's 100 images, both color and black and white, include unpublished installation shots of each Manifesta exhibition. Copublished with Roomade, Brussels, in collaboration with the International Foundation Manifesta, Amsterdam.