Nicosia Municipality and the International Foundation Manifesta are pleased to announce a Press Conference at Famagusta Gate in Nicosia, on Saturday, May 7th at 11:00 a.m.
At its beginning Manifesta was not intended strictly as a biennale exhibition – rather it was conceptualized as a fairly open structure with a goal to create a meaningful, long term cultural dialogue and to build stronger links between east and west Europe’s artists and art audiences. These aims emphasized a more significant type of participation of Eastern European artists in the European art scene – beyond a shallow multicultural approach common at that time. The complexity of Cyprus and Nicosia – a culturally and politically divided site, geographically isolated and located closer to the Middle East than to Europe – creates a unique opportunity to revisit the original mandate of Manifesta and to re-think its form and functions. In so doing, activating Manifesta’s capacity to be a catalyst for energizing cultural production, institutions and discourse in the region.
One historical precedent for such a catalyst is from the American continent, where for a short time a small town in North Carolina – a region almost completely isolated from the advanced cultural practices and discourse in the 1930’s – became a hub of American cultural production. This amazing institution was the Black Mountain College, founded in 1933. Crucial to its success was the core group of some of the most interesting artists, writers and thinkers of this period, who resided, worked and taught there. Combining communal living with an informal class structure, Black Mountain created an environment conductive to the interdisciplinary work that revolutionized the arts and sciences of its time in America and beyond.
As their project for Manifesta 6, the curatorial team of Mai Abu ElDahab, Anton Vidokle and Florian Waldvogel, intends to use the capital, network and infrastructure of Manifesta along with the local resources to start an experimental art school. The school, bi-communal and international in composition, will be formed around a site-specific exhibition materialized through short and long-term residency programs resulting in a production of a number of new works and events in Nicosia, and may go on to become a permanent institution.
About the Press Conference
The press conference will take place at the Famagusta Gate in Nicosia, on Saturday, May 7th at 11:00 a.m.
The Mayor of Nicosia – Michael Zampelas, the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus – Pefkios Georgiades, as well as the Chairman of the Board of IFM – Henry Meyric Hughes, will address the conference. Short introductions will be made by Hedwig Fijen, Director of IFM and Yiannis Toumazis, General Coordinator of M6. The members of the Board of IFM as well as the Curators of M6 will also be present.
About the Local Team
The Municipality of Nicosia has assigned the responsibility of Manifesta 6 to the non-profit organization Nicosia for Art Ltd, under exclusive authority of the Nicosia Municipality. The Programme is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.
The offices and production centre of Manifesta 6 will be based at the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, the old Powerhouse of the city, in the heart of the old town. A new extension of the Arts Centre was created and is being equipped for this particular purpose.
The Management Team of Manifesta 6 is composed of Yiannis Toumazis – as the General Co-ordinator of Manifesta 6, and Nicolas Efstathiou – as the Financial Manager. They will be executing the Manifesta 6 Programme in co-production with the Curatorial Team and in close collaboration to the Manifesta Foundation in Amsterdam.
The International Foundation Manifesta is the initiator and co-producer of the Manifesta biennial editions and the network programme. Residing in Amsterdam at Manifesta at Home it is aiming to facilitate future Host Cities and partner organizations in terms of project management, production and international publicity and fundraising. The international Foundation Manifesta is not only responsible for the selection of the Host Cities and the appointment of the curatorial teams, but is also executed with the transfer of know-how and information from one Manifesta host city to another and the set up of the infra structure in the Host Cities.