Manifesta European Art Foundation

Who organises ?

    The project has been developed by an Advisory Board, consisting of specialists from a number of European cultural institutions.
    Structurally, this project is supervised by members of an International Board comprising distinguished representatives of the European cultural and business communities. A National Committee is entrusted with the organisational matters, at a national level.
    All European Countries are invited to make a biennial contribution towards the costs of organising Manifesta, the countries which support Manifesta in this way are among its most important stakeholders. They will attend an annual meeting with the Board and Secretariat to discuss policy and future plans.

Dutch Committee of :

Joop van Caldenborgh,
Chairman, Director of Caldic Chemie, Rotterdam
Geert Dales,
Treasurer, Director National Fund for Visual Arts, Amsterdam
Chris Dercon,
Director of Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Vincent Vlasblom,
Art Advisor, Benningbroek
Marlene Dumas,
Artist, Amsterdam
Rob Scholte,
Artist, Amsterdam
Herman Wessels,
Managing Director PTT Telecom Rotterdam

Advisory Board of :

Henry Meyric Hughes,
Director of Exhibitions (Hayward Gallery, National Touring Exhibitions and Arts Council Collection) at the South Bank Centre, London, UK
Svenrobert Lundquist,
President of the National Committee for the Exhibition of Swedish Contemporary Art Abroad, Stockholm, Sweden
René Block,
Director of the Institute for International Cultural Relations, Stuttgart, Germany
Anda Rottenberg,
Director of the National Gallery for Contemporary Art, Zacheta, Warsaw, Poland
Liljiana Stepancic,
Director of the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Els Barents,
Head International Affairs, The Netherlands Office for Fine Arts, The Hague, The Netherlands

What is ?

Manifesta is a network and a process. It aims to create a new means of communication in the visual arts. The first biennial exhibition - MANIFESTA I - will take place in Rotterdam in the Summer of 1996. Young and emerging artists from Europe will be invited to take part in this event at the Rotterdam Kunsthal, Museumpark and various other sites in the city.

Why ?

We believe that Manifesta has the potential to shake the artistic establishment out of its present lethargy, and to show developments which reflect a new mentality. Manifesta is expected to have a profound impact on the dialogue between European artists, exhibition organisers, critics and other professionals in the field of contemporary art.

Why Europe ?

Manifesta is an event for the whole of Europe, offering a platform for some of its most challenging, but still relatively unknown, artists and stimulating these artists to join in a dialogue about the state of contemporary European art. Manifesta will be the first event of its kind to provide a forum for continuing debate.
It aims to stimulate alternative developments in the visual arts and to highlight cultural diversity in the Europe.
Manifesta will thus provide European cultural institutions with a basis for mutual cooperation.
Multilateral collaboration of this kind not only provides crucial support for artists, but serves to stimulate debate about the fusion ofdifferent cultures in a new Europe.

Who can take part in ?

In contrast to many other exhibitions, past and present, Manifesta is to be devised by a carefully chosen team of curators,who will select artists in total independence from the usual commercial, political and national constraints. Artists living in all European countries will be eligible, alongwith international artists, who are actively involved in the contemporary art scene in Europe.
"Europe" is defined in the widest possible geographical sense, as stretching from the Atlantic to the Urals and from Northermost parts of the continent to the shores of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. At a conference held in January 1994 in The Hague, an overwhelming majority of national representatives agreed to cooperate in this new European network.
They are now asked to support the National Committee and vest full responsibility in a curatorial team which will be charged with selecting the artists from different countries.

Who initiated ?

Manifesta was initiated by the Netherlands Office for Fine Arts, in cooperation with its European counterparts, in 1993/1994.
In its present form, it has evoked out of preliminary discussions with specialists in contemporary art from all over Europe.

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