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.

Santiago Sierra, ES

Visitors to the Helmhaus found the museum surrounded by sandbags, that universally recognisable feature of an emergency. The windows and entrances are sealed off, leaving only two controlled access points, while the riverside bristled with barbed wire. Santiago Sierra worked with a private security company to assess the building’s vulnerabilities and to ensure it is physically safe. “Imagine this building was not in Zurich, but in Syria or Iraq,” suggests the artist. A time-lapse video installation at Sierra’s satellite showed the transformation of the Helmhaus into a protected building.