The nomadic European Biennale, which opens on August 28, first settled for a short time in France – in the port and colorful Marseille.
Despite the pandemic, the Manifesta 13 Contemporary Art Biennale has not been canceled, but its opening was postponed from June 7 to August 28. This is one of the few major art events that will still take place this year, albeit with restrictions due to measures to prevent coronavirus and partially closed borders. For example, this time Manifesta does not have a grand opening, the time of the Biennale has been reduced by three months (it will last, as planned, until November 29), and the various venues involved in the Biennale do not open all at once, but in stages, during the period from August 28 to October 9.
Founded in 1996 and led by the Dutch art historian Hedwig Feyen, the only European biennial to travel from country to country, Manifesta is being held for the first time in France, in Marseille. The concept and preparation of the main exhibition Manifesta 13 was entrusted to three curators: Katerina Chuchalina, senior curator of the V-A-C Foundation (Moscow), Stefan Kalmar, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art (London), and Aliya Sebti, director of Ifa Gallery (Berlin).
The main theme is dual identity, which implies the connection, but not the fusion of different entities. It will be about the identity of Marseille as a key port city, where people from different worlds traditionally met, and about the identity of artists whose projects are combined into a single exhibition project within the framework of the Biennale.
The endless stories, biographies, and legends of Marseille define its existence as a diverse sphere.
It is interesting that along with contemporary artists, historical figures are declared among the participants in the main project, for example, Antonin Artaud, Roland Barthes, André Breton, Arthur Rimbaud, Max Ernst.
In addition to the main project Traits d’union.s, the biennale includes several exhibitions within the parallel program Les Parallèles du Sud and a series of educational projects Le Tiers.