lunes, 21 de mayo de 2012


Manifesta, the roving European Biennial of Contemporary art, changes it location every two years – Rotterdam (1996),Luxembourg (1998),  Ljubljana(2000), Frankfurt (2002), San Sebastian (2004), Nicosia (2006 – cancelled), Trentino-South Tyrol (2008), Murcia in dialogue with  northern Africa (2010) andLimburg (2012). Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic  production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography. This includes innovations in curatorial  practices, exhibition models and education. Each Manifesta biennial aims to investigate and reflect on emerging developments in  contemporary art, set within a European context. In doing so, we present local, national and international audiences with new aspects and  forms of artistic expression.
Each Manifesta comprises a range of activities extending over a period of two or more years. This incorporates publications, meetings,  discussions and seminars (the so-called ‘Coffee Breaks’), staged in diverse locations throughout Europe and in the neighbouring regions, culminating in the final three-month long exhibition (or in 2006, an ‘art school’) in the host city or region. In this way, Manifesta aims to create a  keen and workable interface between prevailing international artistic and intellectual debates, paying attention to the specific qualities and  idiosyncrasies of a given location.
Inherent to Manifesta’s nomadic character is the desire to explore the psychological and geographical territory of Europe, referring both to  border-lines and concepts. This process aims to establish closer dialogue between particular cultural and artistic situations and the broader,  international fields of contemporary art, theory and politics in a changing society. Manifesta has a pan-European vocation and at each edition,  it has successfully presented artists, curators, young professionals and trainees from as many as 40 different countries. With the expansion of  the European community from 12 to 25 countries, and with the possible target of around 30 nations in the foreseeable future, Manifesta also  realizes the importance of creating links with Europe’s neighbours in Asia, the eastern Mediterranean and northern Africa. At the same time, it  continues to focus on minority groups and cultures within Europe itself. Therefore Manifesta looks forward to expanding its network and  building creative partnerships with organizations, curators, art professionals and independent figureheads in Europe and beyond,

Curatorial Proposal
dr Tomasz Wendland
Hotel de Inmigrantes is an international project that will take place in different locations all over
the world. It relates to the real ‘Hotel de Inmigrantes’, a complex of buildings that was constructed between 1906 and 1911, in the port of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to receive and assist the many thousands of immigrants who, at that time, where arriving in Argentina from many parts of the world. This Inmigrants’ hotel fascinated me and has inspired me to reflect on the contemporary global migration, to think about cosmopolitanism and locality and finally about the personal identity of each individual. Individuals that are being manipulated by mass media, consumption and the shift of capital that forces human beings to follow, in search of a job.
With ‘Hotel de Inmigrantes’, we will realise a series of projects – exhibitions and meetings of artists - all over the world which will enable a confrontation between individuals of different origins in different local contexts. Each event will start with a meeting of international artist, (who will come to the venue as if they were actual immigrants) and will conclude with an exhibition. The artists will live together, share the space, share food and facilities, try to adopt to the local conditions, try to communicate and try to find a way to organize their new life by means of art.
The project is planned for 2012/2013 and will feature in New York, Hasselt, Singapore, Hannover, Bratislava, Montevideo, Fukushima and finally in Buenos Aires. At the same time, the project is a research trajectory towards the 
Me¬diations Biennale of P
oznan in 2014.
Each of these projects will form an autonomous event, with a specific subtitle, so various aspects of iden¬tity of the human being lost as a part of a global village can be researched. The artists can research different aspects of human migrations, identity and globalisation. Each meeting and exhibition will relate to a different aspect of being a stranger, homeless, identity-less, manipulated, a member of a global village, one who becomes an anonymous consumer and producer at the same time, one who repeats all the truly ‘truth’, a witness of a world created by the global media, technology and capital. And since the artists will come from all over the world, they will all have their own approach in referring to this over¬all theme.
The first project will take place in New York in March 2012 during the SCOPE Art Fair entitled ‘Nothing in Common’. There, ten Polish and Middle European artists will share a space of 100m2 during 10 days of the fair and will produce art works. The starting point is an object brought in a suitcase from home and found objects – objets trouvés - from New York.
As a second project, we would like to move the exhibition to Hasselt as a parallel event during MANIFESTA 9 that will be held in the city of Genk, namely in an abandoned postindustrial area,where the question about migration and global changes in our future society will be raised.
The ‘Hotel de inmigrantes’ project in Hasselt will be entitled ‘Cosmopolitan Stranger ‘and will be curated by myself; Tomasz Wendland, artist and the initiator of Hotel de Inmigrantes and by Koen Vanmechelen, the artist who will host this project at his studio in Hasselt. The subtitle of the project ‘Cosmopolitan Stranger’ relates to the art work of the latter. Vanmechelen is mostly known for his‘Cosmopolitan Chicken Project’. A project that researches the evolution and hybridisation of worldwide races of chickens as an example of human desire to create an ideal human being. With the title ‘Cosmopolitan Stranger’ we want to provocatively support and protect the value of local phenomena, attitudes, conventions, customs, practices, rituals and traditions. We want to defend art from the standardization, from so called global aesthetic and global objectiveness. We will occupy a 3000m2 building and share the space with 30 artists from all over the world and this with respect for the differences of each individual in attitude and origin.
The Cosmopolitan Stranger is a man who has lost his own identity as a result and product of a global ideology, a trend of aesthetic, a Zelig, like the one played by Woody Allen*, or „The Man Without Qualities” created by Robert Musil **. An immigrant and an artist is the one who confronted with a new environment must face questions concerning his own value and identity in confrontation with the strangers. A cosmopolitan man must appear to him as an alien, who has no roots, who is hard to be noticed, who is simply invisible.
* Zelig is a 1983 American mockumentary film written and directed by Woody Allen, and starring Allen and Mia Farrow.
** (1930–42; German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is an unfinished novel in three books by theAustrian writer Robert Musil).