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

Ken Okiishi, US

A Model Childhood is a meditation on the artist’s country of birth, the USA, as much as the concept of home itself. Stemming from Japan’s merchant class, Ken Okiishi’s paternal ancestors lived thoroughly transnational lives in the early 20th century. But during World War II, they were forced to reconfigure their identities when the US government decided to strip Japanese Americans of their rights and, in many cases, confine them to concentration camps. A Model Childhood features a photograph of the artist’s father celebrating Boys’ Day in 1940 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the artist’s grandfather threw the family’s recognisably Japanese possessions into the ocean. This photograph survived in the artist’s family as a gateway to a world that was abruptly cut off. Hanging above the fireplace across from this family photograph, and rolling across the room, a scroll shows a message that Okiishi wrote on the Telegram app when the artists and curators of Manifesta had an open exchange in early April about what to do as Covid-19 intervened in all of our realities and political systems. In the ostentatious music salon, a ‘family history video for insurance purposes, circa 2009’ shot by his mother in 2009 documents every object in the Okiishi household.