The Italian curator Francesco Manacorda has been appointed director of the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin, one of Italy’s most influential contemporary art institutions. He takes up the role next January, replacing the high-profile art historian, writer and curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who has been in post since 2016.
Between 2017 and 2022, Manacorda was the artistic director of V-A-C Foundation, an organisation founded by the Russian oligarch Leonid Mikhelson, who launched the art space GES-2 House of Culture in a former Moscow power plant in late 2021. Manacorda resigned in March last year, citing the war in Ukraine as the reason.
Manacorda was also the artistic director of Tate Liverpool (2012-17), director of the Artissima fair in Turin (2010-12) and the curator at the Barbican Art Gallery in London (2007-09). Nicholas Serota, the former director of Tate and currently chair of Arts Council England, was on the director selection panel along with the Turin-based collector Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo.
Manacorda has a degree in humanities from the University of Turin and a masters in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art, London. In 2016 he wrote an academic text for the Stedelijk Studies journal, analysing, he said, “exhibitions as texts that are ‘written’—or maybe better said, encoded—by curators to be read, or decoded, by their public”.
Christov-Bakargiev, who retires at the end of the year, has curated a wide range of exhibitions for the museum, including shows devoted to Anne Imhof and William Kentridge in 2020, an exhibition about Beeple in 2022, and shows featuring the work of Hito Steyerl and Giorgio di Chirico in 2018. She is best known for serving as artistic director of the highly acclaimed 13th edition of Documenta, the five-yearly contemporary art show in Kassel, Germany, in 2012.
In 2015, Christov-Bakargiev was appointed “superdirector” of two of Turin’s contemporary art institutions, the GAM (Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea) and the Castello di Rivoli. Towards the end of her tenure, she was only responsible for the Castello di Rivoli.
In July 2017 the Castello di Rivoli signed an agreement with the Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti per l’Arte to safeguard, research, enhance, and display the collection of the eponymous Italian tycoon.