A visit to Manifesta 8 in Murcia

archive: first published 28/11/2010

C.T.D Constitution for Temporary Display, curated by transit.org

Some images from Pabellón 2, Cuartel de Artillería, Murcia


Banu Cennetolu / Shiri Zinn, Pabellón II, within limits 1921-1995, 2010

For Pavilion II, Within Limits 1921-1995 Banu Cennetolu has collaborated with the London-based conceptual artist Shiri Zinn. One of Zinn’s limited edition glass pieces has been customised to become a cremation urn carrying a sample of dust collected from the exhibition site in the former artillery barracks in Murcia. This glass object can then exist as a monument to the historic functions of the site, to reflect on a legacy of authority, pleasure and the interdependency of power. It is an ode to impotence versus monumentalism.
Banu Cennetolu and Shiri Zinn’s biographies


Carla Filipe,
 Desterrado, 2010. Commissioned by Manifesta 8

The title of Carla Filipe’s installation Desterrado refers to the idea of dislocation. The floor-piece is created in a space that was formerly the toilet and shower block on the first floor of Pavilion 2. The installation is made from cement using water from the Mediterranean Sea. Objects collected during walks in the streets of Murcia, including discarded clothes, printed job ads and the recordings of phrases written as graffiti on walls around the city, are examples of the migratory archaeology of the present.
Carla Filipe’s biography


Martin Vongrej, Self Observing ConsciousnessVedomvie, 2010

Martin Vongrej’s installation is an intuitive and, at the same time, systematic arrangement of paintings, drawings and objects, conceptually divided in two parts. Inside the gallery space, Vongrej presents his automobile (self-moving) auto-portrait. The second part of the installation is a hole leading to the outside, where the artist, by his own admission ‘works with consciousness’. In the centre, these two parts are connected by a rotating picture painted on either side, entitled Pattern X.
Martin Vongrej’s biography


“Overscore” curated by Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF)

Images from the Antigua Oficina de Correos y Telégrafos, Murcia.


Four collectives, and two curators/theorists were invited to participate in a three day workshop in Murcia on a specially designed set evoking, somewhat abstractly, British parliamentary arenas. The theorists/curators moderated discussions between the collectives on issues including the condition of art criticism today, activism in collective practices, and the instrumentalisation of contemporary art. The aim of this experimental workshop was to collectively generate a body of ideas that would be solutions-oriented by tackling and, more importantly, even surpassing such issues. The workshop took place under the lens of a filmmaker looking to portray this discursive situation on intellectual and emotional levels. The Backbench installation features the original set of the workshop and the film installation.

Collectives: The Action Mill, Metahaven, Red76 and Take to the Sea.

Moderators: Nav Haq and Suhail Malik.

Architecture nOffice.

Film by Ergin Çavusoglu.

Commissioned and produced by Manifesta 8.


Kenny Muhammad and Adam Carrigan, Prayers for Art, 2010

Prayers for Art – Such writers, curators and artists as Diann Bauer & Suhail Malik, Rana Dasgupta, Clare Davies, Khwezi Gule, Kevin Hamilton, Hassan Khan, Brian Kuan Wood, and What, How and for Whom (WHW) were invited to submit short “prayers” about their hopes and desires for the future of art. These prayers subsequently became the basis for vocal percussion pieces by New York beat-boxer Kenny Muhammad, who musically interpreted the particular tone and aspiration of each prayer in an empty theatre space. American filmmaker Adam Carrigan captured the performances.
Kenny Muhammad and Adam Carrigan’s biographies


Simon Fujiwara, Phallusies, 2010

When what appeared to be a giant pre-Nabatean stone phallus was discovered under the foundations of a new museum building, somewhere in the Arabian desert, people were baffled as to what to do with it. No photographs were taken, and no records of its disappearance exist. Some say it was destroyed, others saw an unlabeled crate departing for destination unknown. The truth comes down to a handful of British men, working on the construction site, who bore witness to the discovery, but even they don’t agree. Some say it had testicles, others say it was just a stone, some say it was three metres long, others six. Size is not the question here, it’s the shape that counts. Cock or not? No-one can ever know the truth, but like any good erotic story, truth is a slippery thing.

Simon Fujiwara’s biography


Metahaven, Signal (Murcia)

The region of Murcia is rich in producing fruits. Many supermarkets across Europe offer fruit grown in Murcia and its surroundings. The region accounts for about 13% of the volume of fruit and vegetables distributed in Europe. Signal (Murcia) consists of a series of stickers designed by Metahaven, which are applied to Murcia-grown fruit during Manifesta 8. These labels comprehensively address the current geopolitical situation in the territories where the fruit was grown, adding elements of surprise and speculation. The labeled fruits are distributed internationally along existing channels, as well as shown in a food-market installation at Manifesta. Fruit labels have become fetish objects for collectors, although much of the romanticism has given way to bar codes and other technocratic devices.

More information on Metahaven here


Michael Paul Britto, Verbal Assault, 2009

“Much of my work is about being a person of colour in America, and the misconceptions and assumptions that go along with that. My art allows me to make people more politically and culturally aware, by using the customary as metaphor. By manipulating popular culture, I can illicit a wide range of feelings causing the viewer to rethink many of mass medias depictions of people of colour. My goal is to use my art to give voice to marginalised communities and to foster a better understanding in mainstream society.” (Michael Paul Britto).

Michael Paul Britto’s biography


Pablo Bronstein,  Islamic Culture in Southern Spain – 1000 Years of Celebration, 2010

Islamic Culture in Southern Spain 1000 Years of Celebration. A series of drawings showing designs for a fictional exhibition that will represent, by inverse, the attitudes to the presence of Islamic culture in southern Spain, and ironically play on the idea that Manifesta is utilised as a tool in the cultural dialogue between Europe and northern Africa. Pablo Bronstein’s biography


Céline Condorelli, Il n’y a plus Rien (There is Nothing Left),مافيش حاجه فضله 2010

A woman describes the city of Alexandria, saying “Il n’y a plus rien” (There is nothing left). The sentence turns into a refrain, addressing the difficulty in exploring the past and seeing the present, in a city built precariously upon shifting strata of erasure, disappearance and forgetting. Two sequences of slides unfold between a curtain and mirrors: the first follows the production of cotton grown in Alexandria in the first half of the century and ending at the now-shut cotton mills in Lancashire, England; the second is an individual story of departure from Egypt, thus forecasting the massive emigration to take place a few decades later. The multiple projections and reflections reconnect these two, intimately related movements. Céline Condorelli’s biography


Ann Veronica Janssens, For J&L, 2010

A room bathed in natural and coloured light is filled with a dense artificial fog. This sensorial installation approaches the subjects of light, space, pictoriality, abstraction. The colour choice is specifically selected for Manifesta 8.
Ann Veronica Janssens’ biography

All images: eye.on.art. Texts: Manifesta 8.

Manifesta 8 09/10/10 – 09/01/11

See also: The Incubator for a Pan-African Roaming Biennial


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