twitter facebook

MANIFESTA 10 opens in just three weeks. Opening program announced 0

The European Biennial of Contemporary Art 
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg 
28 June – 31 October, 2014 

With just three weeks before the opening of MANIFESTA 10 at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Foundation Manifesta 10 St. Petersburg confirmed today the opening program of activities, which includes a series of performances and time-based events at venues throughout the city.

Manifesta Director Hedwig Fijen said today: “Installation of artworks by 50 contemporary artists has begun at the State Hermitage Museum and other sites and venues, and more than 1,500 media and arts professionals have confirmed their attendance for the opening days. A further 10,000 school students have pre-booked for the education program, which will run throughout the 125 days of MANIFESTA 10. 

Despite many challenges, obstacles, and the occasional impasse, MANIFESTA 10, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, is opening to the public on 28 June, 2014, and is set to be a historically significant, challenging, and engaging Biennial. Manifesta originated in the post-communist period in the 1990s. It aimed to balance the information gap between East and West, North and South. It has chosen to operate within contested areas due to a belief that art plays a vital role in helping us better understand our place in this complex world.”

Prior to the opening of MANIFESTA 10, the installation of the M10 works continue... In the Hermitage's General Staff Building Austrian artist Otto Zitko has painted murals in two interconnected rooms, a kind of tectonic pattern, enveloping the audience.

The opening program will include Paola Pivi’s Grrr Jamming Squeak (2010–ongoing) at the Kuryokhin Modern Art Center. Throughout the Biennial, visitors are invited to enter a fully equipped recording studio where they can play and record music accompanied by animal sounds for free.

Commissioned by MANIFESTA 10, Guy Ben-Ner’s Surplus Leisure (2014) will be located in the Voronikhin Square garden. Exercise equipment in a nearby fitness studio will be connected to cables that generate electricity and power the projection of a speech by Arnold Schwarzenegger on body-building and the merits of the free market economy. Drawing on Marx’s concept of surplus labor, the piece behaves like a parasite, deriving power (electricity) from other people’s “labor time.”

Klara Lidén's new project for MANIFESTA 10 Warm up in production

Unlooped-KINO is composed of over seventy individual film and video works from 1970 to the present, as a comprehensive survey of artistic development in the period. The program comprises works from respected private and public collections, each with a particular specialization in the field and with a strong focus on collecting, preserving, and mediating time-based media. Curated by Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher (office for art, Berlin), the program is split into four sections. Eastern Window concentrates on earlier works from Eastern Europe, courtesy of the Video Forum at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Berlin; Body Then and Now Part I offers insight into body-related performance from the 1970s until today, courtesy of the Julia Stoschek Collection; Body Then and Now Part II continues to focus on the body, moving into virtual reality (courtesy Julia Stoschek Collection); Fast Forward presents new forms of storytelling and recounts visual narratives of the self as in the context of social networks, courtesy of Sammlung Goetz; New Horizions Part I reaches outside of art debates concentrated in the inner circle of Europe and America to address global visual languages, courtesy of Tansa Mermerci Ekşioşlu, Istanbul, Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection, and Bilge & Haro Cumbusyan Collection; New Horizions Part II is a compilation of important performative actions from Russian artists during the 1990s, courtesy of the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture. Continuous screenings are held at two locations, free of admission: at the General Staff Building (Ground Floor) during official opening hours, and at Vitebsk Station (Zagorodny prospect, 32) from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. 

Creator of "Lada Kopeika" in the Main Courtyard of the Winter Palace, artist Francis Alÿs prepares for his project. The preparation has involved the delivery of several live chickens from Gatchina. Here they quietly sit on the car roof posing for postcards for the project.

The opening days of MANIFESTA 10 also feature the launch of the Public Program curated and commissioned by Joanna Warsza. Part of this program, Apartment Art as Domestic Resistance is a series of exhibitions reflecting on the history of art exhibitions in household and kitchen settings as a form of resistance in St. Petersburg. The project continues with a series of weekend exhibitions held throughout the summer examining the history, local idiosyncrasies, and dichotomy of the private and the public from the early avant-gardes onward. It spans different phases and aspects of Leningrad’s domestic non-conformist art scene and arrives at the current, post-Soviet time of the endangered public realm. 

Deimantas Narkevičius, in collaboration with the Foundation of Cossack Culture, will stage concerts of war songs based on the traditional repertoire of Cossack cultures. Held at the LenDoc Documentary Film Studios in St. Petersburg, poignant and sorrowful songs drawn from the borders of the empire reflect on concepts of freedom and the right to expression and self-determination.

Pavel Braila’s Another Noon, an additional cannon shot fired from the midday cannon at the Naryshkin bastion of the Peter and Paul Fortress, is scheduled to occur on 28 June at 12 p.m., Eastern European time (1 p.m. St. Petersburg time). It foregrounds St. Petersburg as one of the places in which the socio-economic dimensions of the “politics of the clock” are especially palpable.

Slavs and Tatars’ The Tranny Tease explores notions such as identity politics, colonialism, and faith. An event set within the hallowed halls of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of Russian Academy of Science, known for its Soviet orientalism, it explores the instances when language and its organs—the tongue, ears, nose, and throat—have been instrumentalized in empire-building exercises, whether in the eighteenth century or in the early twenty-first. 

The German art group Rimini Protokoll tests their new acoustic walk across the city: "Remote St Petersburg" which will be a part of the MANIFESTA 10 public program this summer. 50 strangers gathered at the Alexander Nevsky graveyard near the city centre. They donned headphones and awaited instructions.

Part of an ongoing series of public discussions, MANIFESTA 10 will also present Dialogue #7: What Else? On the sociopolitical context of biennials and other major art events. Participants include author Hans den Hartog Jager and MANIFESTA 10 participating artists Thomas Hirschhorn, Alevtina Kakhidze, and Pavel Pepperstein. Dialogue #7 will be moderated by Iara Boubnova. 

The Parallel Program, a curated series of independent events specifically devised for, or coinciding with, the dates of the Biennial, will be launched during the opening days of MANIFESTA 10. Initiated by Manifesta and realized in collaboration with The Hermitage Museum XXI Century Foundation, the Parallel Program aims to present regional, national, and international visitors with a multifaceted view of the contemporary cultural situation in St. Petersburg. More than 60 events will take place involving 250 artists and cultural practitioners.