The nomadic European biennial of contemporary art, Manifesta, was initiated over twenty years ago as a platform for dynamic cultural exchange. Hosted in a different city for each of its manifestations, Manifesta 11 will run this year from June 11 to September 18 in Zurich, Switzerland. Curated by Berlin-based artist Christian Jankowski, What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures, explores the relationship between professions within and outside the realm of contemporary art.
Through an interdisciplinary approach that fostered collaboration between artists and professionals in unrelated fields, unexpected joint ventures emerged to develop artistic work in new contexts. By means of an exchange program that paired international artists with Zurich professionals working in a field of their choosing, personal relationships were built and firsthand insight gained into another career and alternate perspective of the city.
The resulting projects will be conveyed within three contexts throughout Zurich. Each will be presented within an art institution—Löwenbräukunst and Helmhaus—as well as a satellite venue that is close to the host’s place of work, and documented and shown in film at Manifesta’s Pavillion of Reflections. Spread across traditional art venues and unconventional locales, the collaborations will forge unique paths through the cityscape and physicalize new connections. Further mobilizing this experience, the design of the Pavilion of Reflections was conceived specifically for Manifesta as a large-scale raft floating along Lake Zurich. Featuring an open-air cinema and a swimming pool, the space’s disparate surfaces will permit two forms of reflection.
In conjunction with the new projects produced by joint ventures, professional work as it impacts and relates to personal identity is examined in an exhibition co-curated by Jankowski and Francesca Gavin. The Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction juxtaposes artworks and non-art materials to explore the ways artists, past and present, have engaged with and represented other professions in their own work.
For more information on the Manifesta 11 program, artists and venues, visit the biennial website.