Press Manifesta 4

Press Manifesta 4. May 24th, Frankfurt
Iara Boubnova, Stephanie Moisdon Trembley, Nuria Enguita Mayo

A lot of things had been said here already that allows the entrance
to our project, so I will try just quickly to add how this project has helped us, and I hope will help also the audience, to clarify better some of the questions that shaped our understanding of the reality.

I would say we have acquired this knowledge through the contact and communication with all the participants in Manifesta 4. Thank to them we have gone inside some of the questions, and we have learn about very diverse strategies to discuss given structures in society, as well as very different ways to develop strong personal narratives.

As Adrian Piper wrote some time ago, art has the potential to set up (to activate) an experiential process of knowledge and change. Cultural agents has no any recipe to give instructions to confront the complexity of our contemporaneity but I deeply believe that any form of cultural practice allow us to think better our position in the world.

Manifesta 4 was always thought as a rhizomatic structure, and a process under construction. Today we present it in a developed stage where some nuclei have been defined.

Manifesta 4 includes propositions and platforms coming from groups or individuals (but always based in the idea of “collaborative work”) who are trying to give life to more critical, flexible, autonomous, temporary and open infrastructures on cultural, economic, social and political fields: providing new spaces of creativity and real, not utopian, strategies and tools for all the people; integrating the diversity, the special cultural sensibilities, working on local and specific community contexts, thinking different ways of government and alternative economies, denouncing technology as current new utopia, revealing contradictions in the systems of security and control.

Closely related to the former issues some others groups and individuals deal directly with the urban conflict, the effects of
mass –consumerism in our contemporary society and the more and more problematic relationship between public and private spheres: the strict control of the former one and the disintegration of the later
one due to standardisation . Strategies to occupy the public space as the real place of antagonism is present in the work of many of our participants, through activist manifestations or poetical proposals which slightly changes our perception on daily urban experience.
In close relation to the former domain there is some people dealing with modernism in architecture as an utopian model of development which has definitely failed.

Critical approaches to mass-media and global information, revealing manipulation on the construction of meaning related to present and past history constitutes another line of our rhizomatic project, which expands also in other works exploring symbolical processes of cultural construction through the variable meaning of objects and images in history.

You will find another proposals who are trying to rethink processes of identification revealing, and confronting, state organised strategies, mass-media clichés, nationalistic approaches and gender strategies that defines close, restrictive and sometimes dangerous identities.

The space as an act of presence, as has been noted by Vanessa Joan Muller in our catalogue, is also a strong conceptual and experiential rhizome in Manifest 4. And mobility, as a characteristic of Frankfurt, also underlined by Jochen Volz in his text, has been a driven force for our project.

There are, as you will see, many connections between the artist and also a lot of disagreements and disconnection. We tried to work, as we have already said several times within an open frame which will allow us to check very different approaches to reality, and I hope each individual now can produce its own narration out of this project.

As Jacques Rancière reminds us “aesthetic experience “ is one of heterogeneity, and we would like to keep this idea as a sub-text in our project.

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