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.

Manifesta 13 Marseille was one of the only international biennials to take place during the global pandemic COVID-19, the biennial ended earlier than planned due to the second national lockdown

Hannah Black, GB

Upon storming the Bastille, Arnoux de Saint-Maximin found a manuscript tucked into the walls of a prison cell. This text turned out to be the novel The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade – a scion of the aristocracy whose celebration of perversion ultimately cost him his class. Hannah Black’s Bastille playfully reconstructs this anecdote in brick and paper, evoking both the autonomy of minimalist sculpture (Carl Andre) and the prison cell. Opposite, Ruin II consists of a copy of CLR James’ seminal work The Black Jacobins. James’ book offers a broadly materialist history of the Haitian Revolution, which took place parallel to the revolution in France. By annotating the book with a post-it that reads ‘ruin’, Hannah Black not only points to the ambivalent fate of the only successful slave revolt in history – the colony of Saint-Domingue was one of the wealthiest in the western hemisphere, while the state of Haiti is now one of the poorest – but also the historical tendency to perceive social critique as a threat when it happens to be articulated by Black voices.