December 02, 2020

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What people do for money: MANIFESTA11

What people do for money: MANIFESTA11

In just two months, on 11 June, 2016, Manifesta 11 opens its doors in Zurich under the title What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures. Preparations for the large international art exhibition are nearing completion: the new productions, that are arising between international artists and Zurich professionals of other professions, are getting more and more concrete.

Christian Jankowski, Curator of Manifesta 11 Photo (c) Manifesta 11
Christian Jankowski, Curator of Manifesta 11 Photo (c) Manifesta 11

What do I do for money? What does my work do to me at the same time? The curatorial concept developed by Christian Jankowski for Manifesta 11 is focused on the fields of work found in Zurich and their relation to art. In this 11th edition of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, a total of about 250 existing and nearly 30 newly commissioned works will be presented in more than 35 venues all over the city of Zurich for more than 100 days.Accreditation for press and professionals (inclusive Art Basel VIP Card Holder) now online here.

Each edition of Manifesta reacts to the diversity of social, political and geographical conditions in today’s Europe. Since the first Manifesta 20 years ago, Manifesta always emphasises critical thought, scientific research and artistic experimentation.

Hedwig Fijen, Manifesta director: Manifesta in Switzerland, a country with a system of direct democracy, a high standard of living and an isolationist foreign policy and said to have an almost idyllic character, can feel quite surreal in a time at which Europe is confronted with the most dramatic humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. She adds that at the same time, this Manifesta draws its reason and purpose from just that discrepancy.”

30 international artists are collaborating on projects with hosts of their choice. The results of these encounters will be exhibited at the professional hosts respective workplaces or at the main Manifesta exhibition venues in well-known Zurich institutions such as the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, LUMA Westbau/POOL, Kunsthalle Zurich and Helmhaus. For example, the Catalan artist Carles Congost is collaborating with the Zurich Fire Brigade to reflect in his film Simply the best how feelings can alternate between passion and wage work. Maurizio Cattelan is working with a Paralympic athlete, Teresa Margolles with a transsexual sex worker, Marguerite Humeau with an engineer, and Shelly Nadashi with a literature teacher. The about 30 participating artists also include the French writer Michel Houellebecq, who has joined forces with a doctor and invites Manifesta visitors to attend a meticulous check-up of his body. You can find the complete list of artists here.

The artistic projects are flanked by a reflective selection of artworks under the title The Historical Exhibitions: Sites Under Construction with over a hundred positions. Developed by Manifesta curator Christian Jankowski along with Francesca Gavin, it examines and explores the various modes of artistic portrayal of current and historic working worlds.

Centerpiece of Manifesta 11 will be the Pavillon of Reflections, a floating platform erected on Lake Zurich. Here, visitors will be able to witness crucial moments in the creation of the artworks as captured in a series of movie productions. Curator Christian Jankowski about the project: In the daytime, the Pavillon of Reflections will function as an urban island, a meeting place and open-air swimming area, while at night it will turn into an open-air cinema.

Manifesta 11 Cabaret der Künstler – Zunfthaus Voltaire: The traditional guilds of Zurich inspired Christian Jankowski for the concept of Manifesta 11. In conjunction with Manifesta 11, Zurich’s 27th trade, the guild of artists, was founded in March 2016. For this purpose, the entire historical building at Spiegelgasse 1 will be converted into a guild house from June 2016. Admission to the Cabaret der Künstler – Zunfthaus Voltaire is reserved for guild members only. Artists are called on to hand in proposals for guild membership with performances realized in conjunction with non-artists.


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