Manifesta 9, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, takes place from June 2 through September 30, 2012. For its ninth edition, Manifesta is hosted at the former coal mine, Waterschei, in Genk, Limburg, Belgium.
This year, Manifesta not only presents an international selection of contemporary art, but a collection of historical works that display Limburg’s rich mining heritage to both local and international audiences.
Manifesta 9 is curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina, from Mexico City, who developed the concept that addresses the social and societal impact of the recent past in Limburg, Belgium. Each biennial aims to examine emerging developments in contemporary art, culture and society, within a European context.
For the first section, 35 international contemporary artists created new work that links local themes with global issues.
The second section features historical works of art spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, focused on the impact of the coal industry as their subject.
The third section focuses on the extensive legacy that the Limburg mining industry has left behind.
One of Europe’s foremost art events, Manifesta originated in the early 90s in response to political, economic and social changes. Since then, Manifesta has evolved into a platform focusing on the dialogue between art and society in Europe. For each biennial, a new curator or team of curators is appointed to invite artists from around the world to participate.
Manifesta is a community-based project, with each edition organized by a permanent team of local and international producers and cultural specialists. Its success depends on the collaboration between international and local communities. The biennial intentionally keeps a distance from the dominant centers of artistic production, instead seeking new directions for curatorial practices, exhibition models and education.
For more information on Manifesta 9, visit their website.
Photos courtesy of Manifesta 9, photographed by Kristof Vrancken.
Emmaline Niendorf is a Content Manager with Otherwise Incorporated.