Manifesta, the roving European Biennial of Contemporary art, changes location every two years – Rotterdam (1996),Luxembourg (1998), Ljubljana(2000), Frankfurt (2002), San Sebastian (2004), Nicosia (2006 – cancelled), Trentino-South Tyrol (2008) and Murcia in dialogue with northern Africa (2010). Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography. This includes innovations in curatorial practices, exhibition models and education. Each Manifesta biennial aims to investigate and reflect on emerging developments in contemporary art, set within a European context. In doing so, we present local, national and international audiences with new aspects and forms of artistic expression.
Each Manifesta comprises a range of activities extending over a period of two or more years. This incorporates publications, meetings, discussions and seminars (the so-called ‘Coffee Breaks’), staged in diverse locations throughout Europe and in the neighbouring regions, culminating in the final three-month long exhibition (or in 2006, an ‘art school’) in the host city or region. In this way, Manifesta aims to create a keen and workable interface between prevailing international artistic and intellectual debates, paying attention to the specific qualities and idiosyncrasies of a given location.
Founded in 2003, Manifesta Journal is an international journal focusing on the practices and theories of contemporary curatorship. Manifesta Journal explores and analyzes current developments in curatorial work, in correspondence with the evolution of the Manifesta Biennial over the course of the past decade. The main aim of the journal is to give a stronger voice to an up-and-coming group of (non-) institutional curators, intellectuals, theorists and critics, and to function as a platform for the articulation and discussion of their positions within a pan-European and transcontinental context.