Manifesta 10 Will Remain in Russia, in Spite of Petitions and Military Action

The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Photo by Ксения Брагинская, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.

The leaders of Manifesta 10 will not heed calls to relocate the upcoming exhibition, slated to run at St. Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum from June 28–October 31, despite Russia’s anti-gay laws and the country’s recent military incursion in neighboring Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula.

A statement issued by Manifesta curator Kasper König, Foundation Manifesta director Hedwig Fijen, and Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky defends the decision to move forward as planned with the biennial, saying: “We were invited by the State Hermitage Museum to investigate the notion of contemporary art and culture in a contested society, and we think it is necessary to continue to do so under the current circumstances.”

The statement continues, asserting that keeping the exhibition in Russia does not imply support “for Russia’s present political and military actions.”

Manifesta was last held in 2012 in Genk, Belgium, and will travel to Zurich for its eleventh edition in 2016.

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