Manifesta as an Anti-Biennial


James Voorhies’ new book, Beyond Objecthood, focuses on innovative figures, artworks, and institutions that pioneered the exhibition as a critical form. Voorhies examines recent artistic and curatorial work by Liam Gillick, Thomas Hirschhorn, Carsten Höller, Maria Lind, Apolonija Šušteršič, and others, at institutions such as Documenta, e-flux, Manifesta, and Office for Contemporary Art Norway, and he considers the continued potential of the exhibition as a critical form in a time when the differences between art and entertainment increasingly blur.

In the book, Manifesta is described as an “Anti-Biennial”, an alternative to the large-scale biennial exhibition model, with the mission to expand the dialogue between contemporary art and other fields of cultural production and extend its reach from the West to artists and curators throughout Eastern Europe. Its nomadic quality was intended to convey an open and continually responsive framework to situations in politics, society and aesthetics and their interrelations with contemporary art and the location selected for the biennial.

For more information, you can order the book here.