Palermo Hosts Manifesta in 2018 After Record 2014 Attendance

Palermo Panorama Photo by: Bernhard J. Scheuvens aka Bjs via Wikimedia Commons
Palermo Panorama Photo by: Bernhard J. Scheuvens aka Bjs via Wikimedia Commons

The 12th edition of the nomadic European biennial, Manifesta, will take place in Palermo, according to multiple reports in the Italian press. Manifesta director Hedwig Fijen and the Sicilian capital are said to be in the final stages of negotiation to secure the biennial’s place in the city. Its 11th edition will be held in Zurich and curated by artist Christian Jankowski (see “Christian Jankowski Will Curate Manifesta 11“).

Manifesta 12 marks the second time that the biennial will take place in Italy. The 2008 edition of the biennial was held in Trentino-Alto Adige in South Tyrol. According to reports Palermo will host Manifesta across a number of venues including the Galeria d’Arte Moderna, the Palazzo Riso, and the Ecomuseo Mare Memoria Viva.

Despite the city’s longstanding associations with the Sicilian Mafia, it has seen a resurgence of late and gradual reduction of mob influence thanks to campaigns such as Addiopizzo, which encourage business owners to collectivize around not paying tribute money.

Meanwhile, despite extensive controversy stemming from Russia’s annexation of Crimea and reported involvement in the ongoing unrest in Eastern Ukraine, Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg clocked a remarkable 1,510,309 attendees over its four month run.

According to official figures, 70 percent of those attendees were from the St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, 40 percent of whom had never before attended an exhibition of contemporary art. By way of comparison, Documenta 13 attracted only 860,000 visitors and the 2013 Venice Biennale an even fewer 400,000 visitors.


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