International Foundation Manifesta, Amsterdam
Announcement of the Host Region for Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art
Manifesta 7 takes place in 2008 in
TRENTINO – ALTO ADIGE, ITALY
Manifesta is the European Biennial of Contemporary art, changing locations every two years. The next Manifesta edition, Manifesta 7, takes place in 2008 and will be situated along a string of locations on Europe’s North-South transit route, linking the regions of the Austrian Tyrol to the Italian South Tyrol and Northern Italy. It is the first time that Manifesta takes place in a Host Region instead of a Host City. After Rotterdam (1996), Luxembourg (1998), Ljubljana (2000), Frankfurt (2002), San Sebastian (2004) and Nicosia (2006 – cancelled), the Autonomous Province of Bolzano / Bozen – South Tyrol and the Autonomous Province of Trento who together constitute the region of Trentino – Alto Adige have been selected by the International Foundation Manifesta (IFM) for its industrial heritage and cultural infrastructure, which will form the basis for formulating a new strategy for the next edition of Manifesta.
In keeping with its tradition for innovation, Manifesta has moved from a representational format, such as was used, in various forms, for the first five editions of the biennial, to a reflective format, characterised by the experimental school proposed for Manifesta 6 and a new emphasis on a range of different approaches to themes ranging from education to artistic production, to the use of public spaces.
A string of locations, to be selected by the artistic director, will form the nucleus of Manifesta 7 in 2008, in a project for 100 days, spanning an area of 100 square miles. Besides individual sites, the area, as a whole, will gain additional significance, as the catalyst for an investigation into the successful linkage between issues of cultural diversity and methods for dealing with these.
From Roman times onwards, the Brenner – Trento – Rovereto axis has been a trade route, serving as an extension of the Silk Road that connected Asia to the Mediterranean, and linked parts of Southern Europe to the North. It may be regarded as the spine of a transit and border zone, informed by the contact between various cultures and languages, and infiltrated by a constant flux of new ideas and experiences from both sides of the divide. This area used to be, and still is, the most popular transit route in Europe, linking the European continent to the Balkans and East Mediterranean.
From the beginning, Manifesta was not intended to be an ordinary biennial exhibition. Instead, it was meant to provide a fairly open structure, with the goal of creating a meaningful, long-term dialogue and building up links between European and international artists and audiences. After recently initiating an edition for the very periphery of Europe, Manifesta now returns to the European heartland.
Situated in the heart of Europe, Trentino – Alto Adige constitutes a socially, economically and culturally important North-South axis, which runs from the village of Fortezza / Franzenfeste, in the North to the industrial and artistically important city of Rovereto, in the South. The region’s most evident characteristic within the European framework is its special autonomous status, granted both to the region, as a whole and to the two provinces of which it is composed, under Italian legislation dating back to 1946.
The 1946 dispensation was in no way intended to cut off Trentino – Alto Adige from the rest of Europe. Indeed, the region might perfectly well be characterised, from a cultural point of view, as a small-scale ‘Europe within Europe’. Recently both Provinces have gone out of their way to strengthen their European credentials, by strengthened this European cultural character by investing in the establishment of European University in Bolzano / Bozen and building the new Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art (MART), in Rovereto.
Manifesta 7 will open up the region and, with its wide variety of urban and cultural networks, investigate, develop, and reflect upon new aspects of contemporary art within a European context. In the process, it will strive to confront a local, national and international audience with new forms of artistic expression and proposals for dealing with the issue of art in public spaces.
The International Foundation Manifesta, whose permanent seat is in Amsterdam, will co-organise the next edition of the Manifesta Biennial. For this the Manifesta Foundation and the Region of Trentino – Alto Adige will pool both their resources and their cumulative know-how. The artistic team, which will be responsible for the content of Manifesta 7, will be selected between now and January 2007.
For more information please contact:
NL – 1016 PL Amsterdam
T +31 (0) 20 6721435
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