Manifesta 12 – Palermo 2018: The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence
Only a few days left until the official opening of Manifesta 2018 edition: Manifesta 12, to be held in Palermo between June 16 and November 4, 2018.
Founded in Amsterdam more than 20 years ago (first edition in 1996 in Rotterdam), by the Dutch art history Hedwig Fijen, Manifesta is a biennial exhibition in constant search of the new ways of current Art World.
Manifesta is defined as a “European nomad biennial“: it is carried out every two years in a different city, and the “city of Manifesta” is chosen from those considered “peripheral” compared to the dominant culture.
This is because it is believed, even rightly, that it is in these “peripheral places“, far from the artistic “establishment”, that we can find the right climate for experimentation and to build a more sincere dialogue, less artifact, between Art and the European society.
The 2018 edition will be directed by Hedwig Fijen, Chair of Manifesta 12, with the contribution of Peter Paul Kainrath, Deputy Director of Manifesta, Roberto Albergoni, Project Manager (General Director – Manifesta 12) and Francesca Verga, General Coordinator.
Manifesta 12 – Palermo 2018: The main theme “The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence”
The main theme of Manifesta 12 is “The Planetary Garden: Cultivating Coexistence“. A strong theme, and that says everything with its own words.
The action that the Biennial propose is to “cultivate”, a wonderful word that expresses the idea of “struggle” and “long time needed” (something absolutely “not easy“, indeed). This effort, however, is well rewarded by the idea that the action is “fruitful“, bringing well-deserved “fruits”.
And, what would we cultivate? “Coexistence“.
In a world that is still too much divided (perhaps more and more?), full of contrasts, between poor and rich, between countries, between religions and beliefs, between often “unilateral” ideas, the only possible answer is posed. And it is, luckily, alternative to the “annihilation of the other“: “co-existing“, living together, respecting the others and their right of expression.
This hard and very long work will have as its aim the creation of a “Planetary Garden“, a beautiful and prosperous physical place, of which we would benefit all together.
An overly ambitious theme? Maybe.
A too much bleeding heart theme? Still maybe.
But strong ideas are those that could bring results in the end. Trying it is always lawful, and must be respected.
Manifesta 12 – Palermo 2018: Why Palermo?
As the Manifesta director, Hedwig Fijen, says: «Manifesta 12 in Palermo is a great challenge to rethink how far cultural interventions can play a role in helping re-shaping one of the most iconic Mediterranean crossroads in our history as part of a long term transformation process».
So Palermo as “Mediterranean crossroad“, a millenary city in which they met (and clashed) Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans until the Unification of Italy and the recent full-bodied migration of the African people to the center of the Europe.
Over the millennia, local culture has mixed with all these suggestions, creating a cultural, artistic heritage in the strict sense of great value and diversity.
But the Sicilian land is also pervaded by strong contrasts, which summarize those of the entire world: wealth and poverty, beauty and tragedies (social, but also concrete, such as the great illegal construction of the coasts and nature).
Palermo then stands as a wide and diversified test bench for the positivity of Art. Especially in its dialogical relationship with society, in its political and social commitment, which has always been one of Manifesta’s founding and distinctive points.
Manifesta 12 – Palermo 2018: Venues and Sections
Manifesta 12 will consist of more than 30 newly commissioned works, public installations, performances, and urban interventions. The Biennial will take place in more than 15 iconic venues in Palermo.
The first 5 main locations are:
- Teatro Garibaldi
- Piazza Magione
- Chiesa dei Santi Euno e Giuliano
- Orto Botanico di Palermo
- Palazzo Butera
Beyond that, the brand new revealed venues are:
- ZEN neighborhood (Zona Espansione Nord, a new neighborhood of the city, part of which was built after a discussed project by the italian architect Vittorio Gregotti)
- Pizzo Sella
- Palazzo Forcella De Seta
- Palazzo Ajutamicristo
- Palazzo Costantino
The main exhibition sections are 4:
- Garden of Flows, that focus, according with the official statement, “on toxicity, on the life of plants and on the culture of gardening, exploring it in relation to global common goods”, and will be carried out within the Botanical Garden.
- Out of Control Room, which will be focused on the theme “power”, declined in the era of globalism and its ever wider flows.
- City on Stage, which will take place widely in the city, from the center to the suburbs. These projects, realized in partnership between local and foreign players, will have the difficult task of starting initiatives that involve and transform the city in the long term.
- Il Teatro Garibaldi, which will be the nerve center of the activities, located in a single container: library, cafeteria, workshops and film screenings (including a selection of films made in Palermo), which will then animate debates on Art, of course, but also on the concrete future of the city.
Manifesta 12 – Palermo 2018: Details – Artists involved and other Projects
The first ten Participants of Manifesta 12 Palermo were unveiled by the organization:
- Maria Thereza Alves (1961, São Paulo, Brazil, living and working in Berlin). Her work are developed from the interactions between the physical and social environments of the places she visits for exhibitions.
- Jelili Atiku (1968, Lagos, Nigeria), a pioneer of contemporary performance art in Nigeria.
- Gilles Clément (1943, Creuse, France), a landscape designer, philosopher and writer. He’s work for Manifesta is proposed in collaboration with Coloco, a multidisciplinary design studio with locations in Paris and Montpellier.
- Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe), a duo of spatial practitioners based in London.
- John Gerrard (1974, North Tipperary, Ireland), a key figure in the development of contemporary digital media.
- Uriel Orlow (1973 Zurich, Switzerland, living and working in London), a multi-disciplinary artist that deals with film, photography, drawing and sound.
- Khalil Rabah (1961, Jerusalem), an artist with vast involvement and background in architecture, whom work aims to provide an alternative vision that challenges public perceptions and expectations.
- Rotor, a collective of Belgian architects and designers with a common interest in the material flows of industry and construction.
- Marinella Senatore (1977, Cava dé Tirreni, Italy), a multi-disciplinary artist that merges performances, paintings and collages, installations, videos, photography, and sound pieces.
- Giorgio Vasta (1970 Palermo, Italy) author, novelist, and scriptwriter.
Manifesta 12 will include also seventy-one Collateral Events, selected through an open call with the application of 631 projects and the interesting project 5x5x5, that will develop long-term projects among the Palermo’s cultural communities and the Manifesta network, that include international artists, galleries and various educational institutions.
A great ad wide plan that will bring art to and from Palermo, aiming to implement the European artistic panorama, to make it available to the whole Art World.
And that the PhotoPhore will discover, narrate and share with you.
Stay tuned for more!
16/06 – 04/11/2018
Text by the PhotoPhore