Press Preview: May 31 and June 1, 2012
Official Opening: June 1, 2012
Public Opening: June 2 2012
Former coal mine Waterschei
Genk, Limburg, Belgium
On June 2, 2012 the ninth edition of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, will open its doors in Genk, Province of Limburg, Belgium.
The exhibition will be open for 120 days, from June 2 until September 30, 2012.
Successful Manifesta 9 closes its doors after four months and 100,866 visits.
On Sunday, 30th of September, 2012 Manifesta 9 has closed its doors in Genk, Limburg, Belgium. The team of Manifesta looks back to a successful 9th edition of the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, an edition that was met with much critical acclaim, and saw 100,866 visits to the exhibition. For the first time Manifesta took place in one single venue, the now defunct mine of Waterschei in Genk, in the heart of the former coal-mining region of Belgian Limburg.
“I am proud to be able to announce that Manifesta, as a roving biennial has once more been able to surpass expectations. Our team has rose to the challenge to engage an incredibly diverse range of participants and audiences in a project which proved to be both deeply embedded in the vernacular of it’s locality, but also had it’s finger on the global pulse of the times.” Hedwig Fijen, Director Manifesta
The artistic team of Manifesta 9 was lead by Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico), who together with associate curators Katerina Gregos (Greece/Belgium) and Dawn Ades (UK) developed the content of the exhibition. The artistic team worked in unison with a large team, composed of regional, national and international talent responsible for the management, education, production, communication, grants and office of Manifesta 9. Last but not least such a major project could not have been possible without the help of with the help 260 dedicated volunteers.
Manifesta 9 – The Deep of the Modern was presented as a triptych. For the first section, 35 international contemporary artists were invited to create new work, paying heed to regional context, linking the local theme with global issues. The art historical section provided an overview of works of art from the 19th and 20th Centuries, with the impact of the coal industry as their subject. The third section focused on the extensive legacy that the Limburg mining industry has left behind.
One of the fundamental characteristics of Manifesta 9 was a critical attempt to foster an interdisciplinary and intergenerational dialogue departing from the significance of the former Campine Belgian coal-mining region as a locus of the imaginary and ecology of industrial capitalism as a global phenomenon. As such, Art Mediation has played a more important role than ever for the success of the Biennial. The public response to Manifesta’s invitation for such a dialogue has been overwhelming. To date over 37.000 people have participated in the programs organized by the Manifesta 9 Art Mediation / Art Education department, that is one out of every three people visiting Manifesta 9.
What’s more, an incredibly diverse range of audiences visited Manifesta 9: from general visitors to art professionals, from primary schools to universities and from international visitors to the local community. Many groups from all over the world found their way to Limburg, but also the local community was enthralled by the exhibition as is underlined by the fact that 20% of the inhabitants in Genk visited the biennial.
The comprehensive bilingual (English/Dutch) Manifesta 9 catalog, a Subcyclopedia, with contributions by the curators and initiators is available for purchase at www.silvanaeditoriale.it and for the first time in the history of Manifesta, the exhibition was also accompanied by a constantly expanding digital catalog, containing essays, concepts, videos, pictures and in depth information about the Manifesta 9 artists and artworks. http://catalog.manifesta9.org
An extensive Parallel Events program accompanied the biennial, comprised of 98 projects, which spread over Limburg and further over the borders with The Netherlands and Germany. This program initiated by Manifesta 9, together with the Region of Limburg offered a much appreciated platform aimed to present a broader view of different aspects of the local cultural scene to the regional, national and international audience.
Manifesta 9 was initiated and produced by the Manifesta Foundation, the Province of Limburg and the City of Genk, and was generously support of over 65 private and public organizations.
For the first time in the history of Manifesta, the biennial will take place in one single venue. For Manifesta 9 the large-scale industrial complex of the former coal mine Waterschei in Genk has been chosen. Taking into consideration the significance of the former Belgian coal mining region as a locus for discussing both the geographical and imaginary aspects of industrial capitalism as a global phenomenon, Manifesta 9 will develop as a unique dialogue between art, history and social reflection. In a series of exhibitions, presentations, conferences and events, Manifesta 9 will explore the way art and culture are intrinsic to the social processes that both record and transform the outlook of social formation. Keeping to its mandate of playing a critical role to advance and enhance dialogue within broader Europe, and in line with Manifesta’s continuing ambition to create opportunities for research and innovation at the very vanguard of cultural experimentation, Manifesta 9 will form a platform to investigate the possible modi operandi of a biennial. This makes space to examine the role in which art, heritage and culture can play in society-at-large. Manifesta 9 is curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina, with associate curators Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades.
Cuauhtémoc Medina is an international curator, art critic and historian based in Mexico City, Mexico. He holds a PhD in Art History and Theory from the University of Essex, UK. Medina is a researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the National University of Mexico and was the first Associate Curator of Latin American Art Collections at Tate Modern in London.
Katerina Gregos is a curator and writer based in Brussels, Belgium. She is curator of the Danish Pavilion at the current 54th Venice Biennale. Alongside Manifesta 9 her forthcoming curatorial projects are the 4th Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, 2011 and Newtopia: The State of Human Rights, an exhibition for the City of Mechelen, Belgium, 2012. Previously, she served as artistic director of Argos – Centre for Art & Media, Brussels, and director of the Deste Foundation, Centre for Contemporary Art, Athens, as well as curator of numerous large-scale, international exhibitions.
Dawn Ades is a fellow of the British Academy, a former trustee of the Tate and was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 2002 for her services to art history. Ades was responsible for several of the most important exhibitions in London and overseas over the past thirty years, including Dada and Surrealism Reviewed, Art in Latin America and Francis Bacon.
Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, changes its location every two years. Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography. This includes innovations in curatorial practices, exhibition models and education. Each Manifesta Biennial aims to investigate and reflect on emerging developments in contemporary art, culture and society, set within a European context.
Manifesta 9 – office
Phone: +32 (0)89 710 440
June 2 – September 30, 2012
Manifesta and Manifesta 9 curator Cuauhtémoc Medina are glad to announce Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades as associate curators of Manifesta 9. Manifesta 9 will take place in Limburg, Belgium, in 2012. Katerina Gregos is a curator and writer based in Brussels, Belgium. Amongst other projects she is currently curator of the Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. Dawn Ades is a fellow of the British Academy, a former trustee of Tate and was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 2002 for her services to art history.
ANNOUNCEMENT HOST AND CURATOR MANIFESTA 9 IN 2012
Manifesta is pleased to announce the Host Region and curator of Manifesta 9. The ninth edition of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art will take place in Limburg, Belgium in 2012 with Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico) leading the curatorial team.
The Board of the Manifesta Foundation has unanimously selected the Province of Limburg, Belgium as Host region for Manifesta 9. The former mining region spearheaded their Bid for Manifesta by emphasizing topical issues in the region such as the social repositioning of a postindustrial society, finding new possibilities to do deal with material and immaterial cultural heritage and the search for a joint European identity and forms of collaboration, while at the same time not letting go of one’s own distinctiveness. Issues which according to Manifesta form a complex and interesting point of departure for the project, which can be relevant both within the Host Region and within a European context at large.
The newly elected Host of Manifesta responded with great enthusiasm to the decision of the Manifesta Foundation Board. In the words of Councilor of the Province of Limburg Gilbert Van Baelen: “I am exceptionally proud that we have succeeded in our Bid, and that Manifesta has selected Belgium, and Limburg in particular, as Host Region.”
Following an extensive period of research and talks, culminating in an on-site research by three final candidates, the board of the Manifesta Foundation selected Cuauhtémoc Medina from Mexico City, Mexico to lead the curatorial team of Manifesta 9. Medina impressed the Board with a striking proposal which – in line with Manifesta’s aims – opens up possibilities to develop innovative working models for the display and production of contemporary art, while strengthening the links between artistic practice, culture heritage and the socio political landscape. Manifesta and Cuauhtémoc Medina plan to announce the other members of the curatorial team of Manifesta 9 in due course.
Cuauhtémoc Medina works as curator, art critic and historian. He lives and works in Mexico City. He holds a PhD in Art History and Theory from the University of Essex, UK. Medina is a researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas at the National University of Mexico. Medina was the first Associate Curator of Latin American Art Collections at Tate Modern in London.
Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, changes its location every two years. Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centers of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography. This includes innovations in curatorial practices, exhibition models and education. Each Manifesta Biennial aims to investigate and reflect on emerging developments in contemporary art, culture and society, set within a European context.
For more information and questions please contact Manifesta director Hedwig Fijen:
Prinsengracht 175 hs
1015 DS Amsterdam
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Phone: +31 20 672 14 35 – Fax: +31 20 470 00 73