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Kasper König to curate next Manifesta

Kasper König. Photo: Albrecht Fuchs
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Kasper König. Photo: Albrecht Fuchs

Berlin-based Kasper König has been selected as Chief Curator of Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg, 28 June – 31 October, 2014.. 

The main venue for Manifesta 10 will be the State Hermitage Museum. The city of St. Petersburg will be a strategic partner of Manifesta 10.

Professor Mikhail Borisovich Piotrowsky, General Director of the State Hermitage Museum said, “For the Hermitage contemporary art is a natural, though complex, continuation of age-old traditions, and therefore the key to Manifesta in 2014 for us will be the theme of heritage in today’s context.”

Manifesta Director
Hedwig Fijen said, “Prof. Dr. Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky and myself are pleased to announce the pre-eminent German curator Kasper König at such a significant moment for us both. The State Hermitage Museum is the perfect location to reflect upon the intersection between the historical and the contemporary.”

König is described by Manifesta as “one of the most iconic figures in the contemporary art world” whose experience “spans a generation, as does his know-how and close relationships with international artists.”

Among the numerous large-scale exhibitions that König has previously curated are: Westkunst 1981 in Cologne, von hier aus – Zwei Monate neue deutsche Kunst in Düsseldorf 1984 and Der zerbrochene Spiegel in Vienna and Hamburg. He was also the co-initiator of the Skulptur Projekte Münster 1977. From 1988 to 1999 he was professor at the Städelschule in Frankfurt and was also founding director of the Portikus, Frankfurt/Main. König was the director of Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, from 2000 to 2012.

“… Manifesta 10 in the Hermitage will be subtle and substantial; contemporary art and exhibits from the State Hermitage Museum should dance side by side. The Manifesta Biennial will complement the Hermitage’s 250th anniversary while celebrating its own 20th anniversary, so it should provide another perspective. I look forward to the challenge of working with contemporary art in this context, hoping to make an exhibition that is intelligent and playful…”
— Kasper König

As a nomadic biennial, Manifesta meaningfully invests in education, learning and public programmes, which fits with König’s immense experience and knowledge in the field of artistic practices from his position in the Frankfurter Städelschule. König also has a clear understanding of the function of museums in a changing society, and the museum as a free place for ideas and criticality.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Manifesta which was initiated in response to the new social, cultural and political reality that emerged in the aftermath of the Cold War. 2014 also marks the State Hermitage Museum’s 250th anniversary, and hosting the roving European Biennial for Contemporary Art will form part of this celebration. As a transparent, self-reflective, work-in-progress Manifesta 10 will provide an innovative platform for the State Hermitage Museum and Manifesta. The primary venue of Manifesta 10 will be the General Staff Building, a new location within the State Hermitage Museum complex dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Other venues will be announced later this year.

Manifesta curators in the past were: Manifesta 1: Katalyn Neray (Budapest), Rosa Martinez (Barcelona), Viktor Misiano (Moscow), Andrew Renton (London), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Paris/Zurich), Manifesta 2: Robert Fleck (Paris/Vienna), Maria Lind (Stockholm), Barbara Vanderlinden (Brussels), Manifesta 3: Francesco Bonami (Chicago, Turin), Ole Bouman (Rotterdam), Maria Hlavajová (Amsterdam, Bratislava), Kathrin Rhomberg (Vienna), Manifesta 4: Iara Boubnova (Sofia), Nuria Enguita Mayo (Barcelona), Stephanie Moisdon – Trembley (Paris), Manifesta 5: Massimiliano Gioni (Milan / New York), Marta Kuzma (Kiev / New York), Manifesta 6: Mai Abu ElDahab (Cairo), Anton Vidokle (New York), Florian Waldvogel (Germany), Manifesta 7: Adam Budak (Krakow/Graz), Anselm Franke (Antwerp/Berlin), Hila Peleg (Berlin), Raqs Media Collective (New Dehli), Manifesta 8: Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), Chamber of Public Secrets (CPS),, Manifesta 9: Cuauhtemoc Medina (Mexico), Katerina Gregos (Greece/Belgium) Dawn Ades (UK).

Useful websites for artists: Manifesta Foundation | State Hermitage Museum

Manifesta 9, The Deep of the Modern, took place from June 2 – September 30, 2012 in Genk, Limburg, Belgium and attracted over 100,000 visitors.

Manifesta is the roving European Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Previous Host Cities of Manifesta:
Manifesta 1, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1996
Manifesta 2, Luxemburg, Luxemburg 1998
Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2000
Manifesta 4, Frankfurt, Germany, 2002
Manifesta 5, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain, 2004
Manifesta 6, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2006 (cancelled)
Manifesta 7, Trentino-Alto Adige/ South-Tyrol, Italy, 2008
Manifesta 8, Murcia and Cartagena, Spain, 2010
Manifesta 9, Genk, Limburg, Belgium, 2012

Manifesta Foundation is Ambassador for European Culture within the framework of the EACEA Culture Programme 2007 – 2013

Author: Editor

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