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

Marc Camille Chaimowicz, FR

Throughout the ground floor of the Musée Cantini, Marc Camille Chaimowicz has conceived a presentation that reflects on his time spent quarantining in his London home. Shot in the neighbouring Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, his new film Stuart’s Way is essentially a ‘home movie’. It draws on the formal genre of home movies, but also addresses the notion of home, of living space, of stage and décor, interiority and interiors, between model and representation, simulacra and the unexchangeable silence of private life. The film features a text by David Bussell which is a personal reading of the Marc Camille Chaimowicz exhibition at Cabinet Gallery, whilst additional texts selected by the artist accompany readings of the artist’s actual apartment on the 3rd floor above the gallery.

The installation Here and There… comprises a collection of black-and-white photographs of domestic interiors mounted on movable panels. Originally presented at the Hayward Gallery in 1978, the work creates a dialogue between an idealised home (here) and the institutional gallery setting (there). In the context of the pandemic, it also draws an imaginary line between the conditions of his confinement (there) and his works (here).

The adjoining room features the 1976 film Resistance by English director Ken McMullen, combining fragments of archival material drawn from the history of the French Resistance with footage shot during a week-long workshop which Chaimowicz took part in. Its participants continuously rehearse and analyse their performances in an attempt to merge elements of their personalities with predetermined roles. Though the resulting film only addresses the Resistance obliquely, it faithfully reconstructs the traumas suffered by Resistance fighters and their tendency to describe their pasts in terms of ready-made mythologies.

Marc Camille Chaimowicz was initially commissioned to work with the entire Cantini Museum and its collection for what would have been his largest exhibition in France to date. Unfortunately, the initial project had to be abandoned due to the difficulties of traveling during the pandemic.