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

Jana Euler, DE

Between 1947 and 1952, Le Corbusier constructed L’Unité d’habitation (Cité Radieuse) in Marseille. Conceived as an autonomous ‘living machine’, the housing complex articulated Le Corbusier’s utopian vision of a purist, self-sufficient architecture, wherein every aspect of life had been rationally streamlined. In Radieuse, the German artist Jana Euler contrasts Le Corbusier’s austere architecture with the image of a lazing camel – or are there two? These cute to comical creatures evoke cliché images of Africa and the Middle East. Through this simple juxtaposition, Euler seems to compare the hubris of Le Corbusier’s utopian modernism with that of Europe’s colonial enterprise: Le Corbusier, for example, also collaborated with Benito Mussolini in planning Italy’s colonial settlements in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But as the building’s orderly planes recede behind the flurry of the camel’s lushly detailed fur, Euler also alludes to the supposed unruliness of the ‘oriental’ other, which held so many modernists – from Picasso to Matisse, Klee to Kandinsky – ever so tightly in its thrall.