Manifesta 8 - The European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Dialogue with North Africa
Murcia and Cartagena, Spain
First General Curatorial Statement
The situation of Manifesta 8 is comprised of a set of particular and significant conditions that determine the context within which each of the curatorial collectives works on the biennial. First is the institution of Manifesta itself and its brief but established and well-documented history, its insistence on curatorial innovation and desire to push experimentation within the biennial format, and its nomadic structure which renews the challenge of site-specificity in each manifestation. Following from this last element, the second of these particulars is the Region of Murcia and all of its attendant qualities -- the current social and political landscapes of Murcia and Cartagena and the historical, geographical, and cultural trajectories that shape its characteristics. And the final given of Manifesta 8 is the request to the curatorial teams to locate within the biennial a dialogue with North Africa, a continuation perhaps of earlier histories but certainly an attempt to consider more recent contact between Murcia, Spain, and the EU nations with the societies and cultures of North Africa.