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

Max Ernst, DE/FR

When the Second World War broke out in September 1939, the Surrealist Max Ernst was arrested as an enemy alien and interned in the Camp des Milles near Aix-en-Provence. He was released shortly thereafter, but would soon be arrested again by the Gestapo following the German occupation of France and was forced to flee to the US in 1941. Nonetheless, Ernst would return to France in the 1950s and eventually settle in Seillans during the 1960s and 70s. The painting La fête à Seillans (1964) is a carefully composed celebration of colour, while its enigmatic forms suggest a mass of pulsating joyful celebration of interconnected bodies via lurking faces, open mouths and nipple play. In the Manifesto of Surrealism it also reads ‘Sade is surrealist in sadism.’ Ernst himself was particularly fond of the painting as he often posed in photographs in front of it. At the time, he asserted also that ‘celebration is as revolutionary as provocation.’