Manifesta 11 to be curated by an artist

Berlin based artist Christian Jankowski has been appointed Chief Curator of Manifesta 11, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, a press release states.

Manifesta 11, which will be hosted in Zurich, Switzerland in 2016, will be curated by Christian Jankowski (Göttingen, 1968). It is the first time Manifesta is curated by an artist, and Jankowski ho will start working in November 2014 towards conceptualizing the 2016 edition of the biennale.

unnamedChair of the M11 Curatorial Selection Committee, Hedwig Fijen who is also the Manifesta Director, explains the selection thus:

‘For the first time in Manifesta’s history, an individual artist will take the position of Chief Curator and will work on a project for an entire urban environment. Jankowski will investigate the whole array of art’s authorship, its production and its reflection on Zurich’s professional landscape. In doing so, Manifesta 11’s Chief Curator approaches the complex identities of the city in an unexpected way, reaching out to audiences beyond the inner circle of contemporary art biennials.’

Christian Jankowski (Göttingen, 1968) who is currently based in Berlin and has a background from the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (Germany) started his artistic career as a curator of his own independent space, Friedensallee 12, in Hamburg (1992-1996). He has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and his work is in the collection of numerous international museums. Recent solo exhibitions include: Heavy Weight History, CCA Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2013); Llorando por La Marcha de la Humanidad, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2012); Casting Jesus, MARCO, Rome (2012); The Finest Art on Water, Frieze Art Fair, London (2011); Now For Something Completely Different, BAWAG Foundation, Vienna (2009); and Dienstbesprechung, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2008). Jankowski participated in the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2013 as well as in the 2002 Whitney Biennial.

Jankowski’s work consists of performative interactions between himself and non-art professionals, between contemporary art and the so-called ‘world outside of art’. During the course of his artistic career, Jankowski has collaborated with, among others, magicians, politicians, news anchors, and members of the Vatican. Jankowski registers these performative collaborations using the mass media formats in which he stages his work––film, photography, television, newspapers. This procedure lends his work its populist appeal. Jankowski’s work can be seen both as a reflection, deconstruction, and a critique of a society based on spectacle. In his view, art has turned into a spectacle, and as a result, has undermined its critical potential.

Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, selected the City of Zurich as Manifesta 11 Host for 2016. Zurich offered the opportunity for Manifesta to research an urban environment for the first time.

MANIFESTA 10, curated by Kasper König, took place from 28 June – 31 October 2014 in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation and attracted over 1 million visitors. Previous Host Cities and curators of Manifesta were:

  • Manifesta 1, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1996: Katalyn Neray (Budapest), Rosa Martinez (Barcelona), Viktor Misiano (Moscow), Andrew Renton (London), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Paris/Zurich)
  • Manifesta 2, Luxemburg, Luxemburg 1998: Robert Fleck (Paris/Vienna), Maria Lind (Stockholm), Barbara Vanderlinden (Brussels)
  • Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2000: Francesco Bonami (Chicago, Turin), Ole Bouman (Rotterdam), Maria Hlavajová (Amsterdam, Bratislava), Kathrin Rhomberg (Vienna)
  • Manifesta 4, Frankfurt, Germany, 2002: Iara Boubnova (Sofia), Nuria Enguita Mayo (Barcelona), Stephanie Moisdon – Trembley (Paris)
  • Manifesta 5, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain, 2004: Massimiliano Gioni (Milan / New York), Marta Kuzma (Kiev / New York)
  • Manifesta 6, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2006 (cancelled): Mai Abu ElDahab (Cairo), Anton Vidokle (New York), Florian Waldvogel (Germany)
  • Manifesta 7, Trentino-Alto Adige/ South-Tyrol, Italy, 2008: Adam Budak (Krakow/Graz), Anselm Franke (Antwerp/Berlin), Hila Peleg (Berlin), Raqs Media Collective (New Dehli)
  • Manifesta 8, Murcia and Cartagena, Spain, 2010: Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), Chamber of Public Secrets (CPS), tranzit (dot) org
  • Manifesta 9, Genk, Limburg, Belgium, 2012: Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico), Katerina Gregos (Greece/Belgium) Dawn Ades (UK)
  • Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, 2014: Kasper König (Germany)

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