Jun 19, 2018

Manifesta 12 Nomadic Biennale Has Opened In Palermo

Manifesta 12, the European Nomadic Biennial, opened on June 16 and will run through to November 4, 2018. Visitors from all over the world are flocking to Palermo, Italy, to discover the works of emerging artists, as well as 30 commissioned pieces. The exhibitions have been styled to showcase Palermo's most spectacular locations.

The theme for the fair is “The Planetary Garden, Cultivating Coexistence”. Wherein, the garden has been used as a metaphor to speculate on the issues of migration and climate change.

At the opening of Manifesta 12 in Palermo, courtesy of Manifesta 12 Biennale 

In recent years, the exhibition has evolved to become an interdisciplinary platform for social change. Holistic urban research programs have been introduced to ensure that the events leave a lasting, positive impact on their hosts.

The Sicilian capital of Palermo was an obvious choice, given its turbulent history and its reputation for cultural (and botanical) diversity and tolerance for migration. In fact, Palermo has been occupied by almost every European civilization. It has forged long-term connections with Northern Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean over the past 2,000 years. Architecture firm, OMA, led this year’s program which culminated in the creation of the “Palermo Atlas”. It’s an interdisciplinary investigation of the city detailing the rich architectural, anthropological and archaeological backbone of the city enriched with personal histories and media.

There are three main shows, each exploring a different theme:

– The Garden of Flows on the culture of gardening.

– The Out of Control Room investigating the phenomenon of power.

– The City on Stage further develops plans in Palermo that have not yet been fully realised in an effort to develop long term initiatives within the city.

The following highlights of the program have drawn our attention.

Gilles Clément – Becoming Garden

The French philosopher and botanist who described the world as a ‘planetary garden’ – a phrase which inspired the name of the event – has collaborated with design studio Coloco to create the installation. The garden can be found in Palermo’s Zen district on what was formerly an abandoned piece of land and encourages residents to become gardeners of the world. The representation of Becoming Garden will be on view at Palazzo Costantino.

The garden of the musée du quai Branly in autumn, designed by Gilles Clément

Maria Thereza Alves – Una proposta di Sincretismo

The Brazilian-born artist creates research-based botanic installations that are born from her interactions with environment. The installation created for Manifesta 12 aims to represent the complex cultural exchanges that have defined the history and formed the present Palermo.

Maria Thereza Alves

John Gerrard – Untitled (near Parndorf, Austria) 2018

The Irish new media artist was commissioned to create a work for Manifesta 12. He will install his new simulation “Untitled (near Parndorf, Austria) 2018”, which depicts a tragedy involving 71 migrants which occurred along a wooded highway, alongside his earlier work – “Farm (Council Bluffs, Iowa) 2015”.

John Gerrard – Farm (Council Bluffs, Iowa) 2015

Nora Turato – I’m happy to own my implicit biases (malo mrkva, malo batina)

Turato’s mixed media installation with elements of performance is on view at the Oratorio di San Lorenzo until June 24, 2018. The work explores Palermo’s linguistic and cultural syncretism using Sicilian donas de fuera (women from elsewhere) as her inspiration.

Nora Turato

AES+F’s Mare Mediterraneum Exhibition

.ART’s early adopters AES+F can be found at the Manifesta 12 Collateral Exhibition at Teatro Massimo Palermo. The work explores migration and geopolitical turbulence in the Mediterranean.

Photo courtesy of AES+F