Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

Susan Philipsz, GB

Sound installation at Winter Palace

Scottish artist Susan Philipsz’s sonic installation was based on James Joyce’s novel Finnegans Wake. In 1929 Joyce was recorded reading an excerpt from the chapter “Anna Livia Plurabelle”. This recording was reinterpreted as a musical composition by Hazel Felman. The River Cycle (Neva) was inspired by the terrible floods that took place in St Petersburg in the 18th and 19th centuries. Philipsz recorded each note of Felman’s score separately, creating a twelve-channel piano recording. This was installed in the main staircase of the Winter Palace, one of the grandest settings in the Hermitage.