Manifesta 11 Prepares To Open Christian Jankowski Curated Biennial

Manifesta 11, opening in Zurich on the 11th of June, with theme curated by Christian Jankowski, “What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures” promises to be the highlight of the Spring/Summer European art season. 30 new artworks have been produced, and they will be contextualised by a historical exhibition co-curated by Jankowski and Francesca Gavin. All new productions & the contextualising “The Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction”discuss the topical questions in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as “To work or not to work?” and “What do we do for work and what does it do to us?”. 

Following the theme of the biennial, 30 artists incl. Maurizio Cattelan, Teresa Margolles and Jon Kessler, have been working with Swiss professionals from trades outside the arts in so-called Joint Ventures. There have been new works created in collaboration with a dog salon owner (Guillaume Bijl), a waste treatment plant manager (Mike Bouchet) and firefighters (Carles Congost). 

Two exemplary projects that might be interesting for your publication are by Marguerite Humeau and Jon Rafman:

Designer-cum-visual artist Marguerite Humeau is working with an engineer in robotics, creating a ballet for two creatures created by the ETH Zurich’s Robotics Lab. The ballet will set up the first love encounter that ever happened on Earth – the cynodonts will emit mating chants, and release synthetic hormones, reenacting the three stages of love (lust, attraction, long-term attachment). In the space of installation, an artificial fog produced of biotechnological anti-love drugs, will invade the space.

Jon Rafman is working with a float spa owner, creating an immersive viewing unit to house a new video work designed for individual viewing experience. It will be quite an experience, possibly unsettling, with sensory saturation incl. visual stimulation, binaural sound, tactility and possibly smell. This piece will be seen at the float spa. Jon will also create a large-scale labyrinth to the institutional part of his show, marrying elements of his typical landscapes of computer games with classical architectural elements of a spa – the labyrinth will finish with a large-scale projection of new work. 

Marguerite will have a solo at Palais de Tokyo opening up in June after Manifesta, and Jon has just opened a solo at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, followed by his participation in the Berlin Biennale.

Some highlights of  “The Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction”, an exhibition divided into 11 thematic chambers, include work by Giovanna Olmos, Taocheng Wang and Paulina Olowska (depicted below). Olmos’ work will be seen in the section ‘Self-Portraits and Self-Promotion’, Wang’s in the section ‘Artists Adopting Professions’ and Olowska’s in the section ‘Portraits of Professions’.  

Photo: Christian Jankowski, Curator of Manifesta 11 Photo (c) Manifesta 11

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