St. Petersburg, Russia
28 June – 31 October 2014
Read the catalogue here.
2 November 2014 marked the end of four months of Manifesta10 Biennial in the State Hermitage Museum and other venues across the city of St Petersburg. The biennial attracted an astounding 1,510,309 visits across all venues of the biennial: the Winter Palace and, General Staff Building – (both of the State Hermitage Museum), the Apartment Art as Domestic Resistance and to the various education and public program events that took place across the city.
2014 marked the 20th anniversary of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, which was initiated in response to the new social, cultural and political reality that emerged in the aftermath of the Cold War. This Jubilee year event analysed the 25 years of changing realities and experiences as they transformed within this new global world order.
One of the oldest and most prestigious museums in the world, the State Hermitage Museum was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great as her personal art collection and has been open to the public since 1852. In 2014 the museum celebrated 250 years of existence. The newly renovated General Staff Building, the new premises of the State Hermitage Museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art, was the main stage of Manifesta 10, curated by Kasper König.
Founding Director of Manifesta:
We are excited that the Manifesta 10 jubilee edition will be hosted by the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This partnership of Manifesta with its roving nature, its innovative curatorial methodology and experimental artistic practices with such an influential historical museum as the Hermitage is unprecedented. St Petersburg historically bridged the gap between East and West Europe for more than 300 years and through the spirit of the European enlightenment movement in the 18th Century, the notion of the Encyclopaedia edited by Diderot and D’Alembert and acquired by Catherine The Great for the State Hermitage Museum could become a moral and spiritual inspiration for Manifesta 10 in 2014.
Prof. Mikhail Piotrovsky
Director General of The State Hermitage:
The State Hermitage museum is glad to host Manifesta 2014, the year when the Hermitage will be celebrating its 250th anniversary. With the arrival of Manifesta, the Hermitage will highlight its traditions: its roots within the epoch of Catherine the Great and her passion for the contemporary art of her time, and the role that the museum’s collections and exhibitions have always played in the artistic life of Russia. We see contemporary art is a natural, albeit intricate, development of these age-old traditions. Therefore, the key moment in Manifesta 10 for us will be the theme of the Hermitage in today’s context.
Chair of the Manifesta Foundation, Russian art critic and curator:
Manifesta was built up as a platform for dialogue in between the East and the West. Reaching St. Petersburg Manifesta will find itself in the country of an extreme European East and in the city that was conceived as its extreme Western outpost. Manifesta has always been seeking new places, their genius, their particularity and their historical, cultural and political complexity. St. Petersburg is a city of the complex cultural and political past and of the present. To do a Manifesta here is a challenge. And that is another strong reason to be present. Manifesta is approaching its 10th edition; its history is short, but it already exists. The Hermitage with its glorious heritage is a coherent place to reflect two “Manifesta decades”.
Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg comments:
St. Petersburg has been historically and stays till now the outstanding cultural centre of Russia. Supporting the leader of the Russian culture – the State Hermitage museum – in its aspiration for development of the interest of the society towards contemporary art and the understanding of art processes taking place in the world, the City Government will give it’s support in the preparation and organization of Manifesta 10 in the cultural capital of Russia”.