Manifesta 12 - Palermo 2018


Manifesta is Europe's premier itinerant biennial of contemporary art. Every two years it moves to a new host city, where, through a series of workshops, conferences, publications, educational initiatives and exhibitions, it explores the prevailing historical and cultural identity of its temporary home and maps out a "new cultural topography". The host city for the 2018 edition was Palermo.

Manifesta 12 culminated in a four-and-a-half-month-long exhibition - from 16th June to 4th November 2018 - featuring the work of local and international artists and architects. The theme was: "The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence."

In the words of Manifesta's organisers, Palermo was chosen as the host city for the 12th edition of the event “for its representation of two important themes that identify contemporary Europe: migration and climate changes and how these issues impact our cities. The multi-layered and deeply condensed history of Palermo – being occupied by almost every European civilization and having long-term connections with Northern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean over the last 2000 years – has left its traces throughout this multi-cultural society at the heart of the Mediterranean area.

Over 200,000 people visited at least one of Manifesta 12's exhibitions and installations.

The Director of Manifesta, Hedwig Fijen, added, “Manifesta 12 in Palermo in 2018 will be a fantastic opportunity for the city to reinvigorate its local and international identity. It is a moment for Europe to appreciate the significance of its Mediterranean dimension and identity: Palermo brings Manifesta to the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean to Europe. Manifesta 12 is an opportunity to celebrate Palermo for what it really is: a laboratory for the humanities, arts and culture. The city will be able to renew itself and pave a way for its future.

Manifesta 12 in numbers

  • 145 days
  • 30+  newly commissioned works
  • 15 venues across the city
  • 483,712 visits to the various exhibitions and installations
  • 206,456 individual visits

Venues, artists and contributors

Palazzo Butera

  • Maria Thereza Alves (Brazil) - A Proposal of Syncretism (This Time Without Genocide) - (installation)
  • Uriel Orlow (Switzerland) - Wishing Trees (video installation)
  • Melanie Bonajo (Netherlands) - Night Soil Trilogy (video)
  • Fallen Fruit (USA) - Theatre of the Sun (mixed media)
  • Renato Leotta (Italy) - Giardino (mixed media)
  • Sergey Sapozhnikov (Russia) - A Wonderful Day (mixed media)

City on Stage

Events in the streets of Palermo

  • Jelili Atiku (Nigeria) - Festival of the Earth (processional performance - 15th June 2018)
  • Marinella Senatore (Italy) - an urban procession featuring a collective dance movement (16th June 2018)
  • Matilde Cassani (Italy) - Tutto (mixed media, performance - 16th June 2018)
  • Roberto Collovà (Italy) - Giardino di Giardini. Azioni sulla Costa Sud (intervention in a public space, mixed media)

Oratorio della Madonna del Rifugio dei Peccatori Pentiti

  • Masbedo (Italy) - Videomobile (video installation)

Lo Zen (Zona Espansione Nord)

  • Coloco & Gilles Clément (France) - Becoming Garden (workshops, intervention in a public space, installation)

Palazzo Forcella de Seta

  • Kader Attia (France) - The Body's Legacies. The Post-Colonial Body (video and sculpture)
  • Forensic Oceanography (Italy and USA) - Liquid Violence (video installation)
  • John Gerrard (Ireland) - Untitled (near Parndorf, Austria) (video installation)
  • Patricia Kaersenhout (Netherlands) - The Soul of Salt (video installation); The Mask of Cruelty (installation)
  • Erkan Özgen (Turkey) - Purple Muslin (video)
  • PENG! Collective (Germany) - Call-A-Spy (installation) 
  • Laura Poitras (USA) - Signal Flow (video installation, mixed media)

Palazzo Ajutamicristo

The Out of Control Room

  • John Gerrard (Ireland) - Farm (Council Bluffs, Iowa) (video simulation)
  • James Dridle (UK) - Citizen Ex (mixed media)
  • Tania Bruguera (Cuba) - Article 11 (mixed media)
  • Filippo Minelli (Italy) - Across the Border (mixed media, installation)
  • Lydia Ourahmane (Algeria) - The Third Choir (installation)
  • Trevor Paglen (USA) - It Began as a Military Experiment (a series of prints)
  • Rayyane Tabet (Lebanon) - Steel Rings (installation and a collection of documents)
  • PENG! Collective (Germany) - Become an Escape Agent (video)
  • Richard Vugen (Netherlands) - Connected by Air (data visualization)

Oratorio di San Lorenzo

  • Yuri Ancarani (Italy) - Lapidi and Whipping Zombie (video installations)
  • Nora Turato (Croatia) - I'm happy to own my implicit biases (performance, mixed media)

Casa del Mutilato

  • Cristina Lucas (Spain) - Unending Lightning (video installation)

Palazzo Trinacria

  • Taus Makhacheva (Russia) - Baida (video installation)

The Botanical Gardens

  • Khalil Rabah (Palestine) - Relocation, Among Other Things (installation)
  • Martin Franzén (Sweden) - Palermo Herbal (mixed media)
  • Alberto Baraya (Colombia) - New Herbs from Palermo and Surroundings. A Sicilian Expedition (mixed media)
  • Zheng Bo (China) - Pteridophilia (video)
  • Leone Contini (Italy) - Foreign Farmers (installation, event in a public space)
  • Lungiswa Gqunta (South Africa) - Lituation (mixed media)
  •  Toyin Ojih Odutola (Nigeria) - Scenes of Exchange (collection of  pastel and charcoal drawings)
  • Michael Wang (USA) - The Drowned World (environmental installation)

Pizzo Sella

  • Rotor (Belgium) - Da Quassù è Tutta un’Altra Cosa (environmental intervention, mixed media)

Moveable feast

  • Cooking Sections (UK) - an agricultural irrigation system project
  • Giorgio Vasta (Italy) - City Scripts (storytelling, creative writing workshops and podcasts
  • Jordi Colomer (Spain) - New Palermo Felicissima (performance, video installation)

The various projects also saw the participation of residents of Palermo, schoolchildren and local cultural organisations.

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