Kasper König selected as Chief Curator of Manifesta 10

Berlin based Kasper König has been selected as Chief Curator of Manifesta 10 to be hosted in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.


from left: Hedwig Fijen, Prof. Dr. Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, Kasper König signing the curatorial contract of Manifesta 10, Photo Rustam Zagidullin

The main venue for Manifesta 10 will be the State Hermitage Museum. The city of St. Petersburg will be a strategic partner of Manifesta 10. The exhibition and program will take place 28 June – 31 October, 2014.

 “Prof. Dr. Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky and myself are pleased to announce the pre-eminent German curator Kasper König at such a significant moment for us both. The State Hermitage Museum is the perfect location to reflect upon the intersection between the historical and the contemporary.”

— Hedwig Fijen, Manifesta Director

“For the Hermitage contemporary art is a natural, though complex, continuation of age-old traditions, and therefore the key to Manifesta in 2014 for us will be the theme of heritage in today’s context,” — Prof. Mikhail Borisovich Piotrowsky — General Director of the State Hermitage Museum.

König is one of the most iconic figures in the contemporary art world, his experience spans a generation, as does his know-how and close relationships with international artists. Among the numerous large-scale exhibitions that König has previously curated are; Westkunst 1981 in Cologne, von hier aus – Zwei Monate neue deutsche Kunst in Düsseldorf 1984 and Der zerbrochene Spiegel in Vienna and Hamburg. He was also the co-initiator of the Skulptur Projekte Münster 1977. From 1988 to 1999 he was professor at the Städelschule in Frankfurt and was also founding director of the Portikus, Frankfurt/Main. König was the director of Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, from 2000 to 2012.

“… Manifesta 10 in the Hermitage will be subtle and substantial; contemporary art and exhibits from the State Hermitage Museum should dance side by side. The Manifesta Biennial will complement the Hermitage’s 250th anniversary while celebrating its own 20th anniversary, so it should provide another perspective. I look forward to the challenge of working with contemporary art in this context, hoping to make an exhibition that is intelligent and playful…”

— Kasper König

As a nomadic biennial, Manifesta meaningfully invests in education, learning and public programmes, which fits with König’s immense experience and knowledge in the field of artistic practices from his position in the Frankfurter Städelschule. König also has a clear understanding of the function of museums in a changing society, and the museum as a free place for ideas and criticality.

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Manifesta which was initiated in response to the new social, cultural and political reality that emerged in the aftermath of the Cold War. 2014 also marks the State Hermitage Museum’s 250th anniversary, and hosting the roving European Biennial for Contemporary Art will form part of this celebration. As a transparent, self-reflective, work-in-progress Manifesta 10 will provide an innovative platform for the State Hermitage Museum and Manifesta. The primary venue of Manifesta 10 will be the General Staff Building, a new location within the State Hermitage Museum complex dedicated to modern and contemporary art. Other venues will be announced later this year.

 Manifesta curators in the past were: Manifesta 1: Katalyn Neray (Budapest), Rosa Martinez (Barcelona), Viktor Misiano (Moscow), Andrew Renton (London), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Paris/Zurich), Manifesta 2: Robert Fleck (Paris/Vienna), Maria Lind (Stockholm), Barbara Vanderlinden (Brussels), Manifesta 3: Francesco Bonami (Chicago, Turin), Ole Bouman (Rotterdam), Maria Hlavajová (Amsterdam, Bratislava), Kathrin Rhomberg (Vienna), Manifesta 4: Iara Boubnova (Sofia), Nuria Enguita Mayo (Barcelona), Stephanie Moisdon – Trembley (Paris), Manifesta 5: Massimiliano Gioni (Milan / New York), Marta Kuzma (Kiev / New York), Manifesta 6: Mai Abu ElDahab (Cairo), Anton Vidokle (New York), Florian Waldvogel (Germany), Manifesta 7: Adam Budak (Krakow/Graz), Anselm Franke (Antwerp/Berlin), Hila Peleg (Berlin), Raqs Media Collective (New Dehli), Manifesta 8: Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum (ACAF), Chamber of Public Secrets (CPS), tranzit.org, Manifesta 9: Cuauhtemoc Medina (Mexico), Katerina Gregos (Greece/Belgium) Dawn Ades (UK).

For further information including interviews and images please contact the Press Department of the Foundation Manifesta 10 in St. Petersburg.

Foundation Manifesta 10
M10 Head of Communication, Marketing and Fundraising
Terry Harding
terryharding (at) manifesta.org
or m10press (at) manifesta.org


There is an extensive Q&A document available here and on the website of the State Hermitage Museum (www.hermitagemuseum.org).