May 28, 2010 - Manifesta - Manifesta 8 announces projects and venues in the region of Murcia
May 28, 2010

Manifesta 8 announces projects and venues in the region of Murcia

Manifesta 8 announces projects and venues in the region of Murcia
Murcia, Spain
2 October 2010 – 9 January 2011

The 8th edition of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, will take place in the region of Murcia, Spain. It will explore the idea of a 21st-century Europe, its present-day boundaries with Northern Africa and its interrelations with the Maghreb region. The history of southern Spain has been shaped by a historical blend of Islamic, Judaic and Christian cultural influences coexisting together. This is the inspirational ground from which the next Manifesta 8 biennale will depart to explore new topologies and journeys.

Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, is an initiative of the Manifesta Foundation in Amsterdam. The international Board of the foundation chooses the location as well as the curators of each edition of the biennial. The curatorial team of Manifesta 8 is composed of Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (Egypt), Chamber of Public Secrets (Denmark and the Middle East) and (Central Europe). These three curatorial collectives are responsible for both the thematic approach of the exhibition and the selection of artists.


For Manifesta 8 ACAF has developed Backbench, a process-based and quasi-dramatized project based on ACAF’s Theory of Applied Enigmatics involving four artist collectives and two moderators. During their residency, the artists and moderators will focus on dealing with the many problems related to what is referred to as “the art system” and the tangled relational bonds between art and society. Discussing many pertinent issues relating to the Theory of Applied Enigmatics, solutions proposed by the artists and moderators will unfold throughout the sessions of Backbench, which will take place inside a set designed to give the impression of an office.


The project curated by CPS for Manifesta 8 highlights two of the most relevant aspects of this edition of Manifesta: its transnational focus, which seeks to overcome the limits of nations and borders through artistic experience, and its contribution to expanding the social scope of art practice, which is forced to exceed the formal limits of what has historically been its institutional nature. There are two components, which form the basis of the project. One is the Argentinean “countries”, gated residential areas in which the ruling classes or the middle classes live in fear of being attacked by a vague “other”, whose image is constructed either as a threatening figure matching the stereotypes imposed by the mass media or based on real experiences of violence. The other is the prison, an archetypal space in modern disciplinary politics, based on a historic figure that is the most extreme example of the model of institutional disciplinary spaces.


The collective plans to create a “Constitution For Temporary Display” for Manifesta 8 in order to challenge all stereotypes applied to a biennial such as Manifesta.

Submitting the mechanisms of the biennial to a critical analysis by artists and advisors, aims at realizing such a constitutional proclamation and translating it into a concrete program of action.


Manifesta 8 will take over a wide range of spaces in Murcia and Cartagena including museums and art centres, but also historical buildings, opened to the public for the first time, and other non conventional sites. The various venues will become part of a tour acquainting the visiting public with both cities, while introducing local residents to hitherto undiscovered aspects of their home towns.


The European Biennial of Contemporary Art
Region of Murcia (Spain) in dialogue with Northern Africa
Press preview: September 30 and October 1, 2010
Please register for accreditation at the following link:
Official opening: evening of October 01, 2010
Public opening: October 02, 2010
Duration: October 02, 2010 – January 09, 2011

For more information please go to:
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