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.


Markus Miessen, Magnus Nilsson, Ralf Pflugfelder

nOffice, Backbench 2010 © Manifesta 8/Ilya Rabinovich
Architectural intervention at Antigua Oficina de Correos y Telégrafos in Murcia

The Backbench is the centre piece of the Overscore exhibition, situated in the central atrium of the Old Post Office, Manifesta 8’s main venue. Based on the layout of the British Parliament, with its spatial and procedural protocols, the Backbench is conceived as an intense discursive forum that both enables and structures the exchange of ideas. The Backbench acts as a hub that allows different artist groups and social processes to operate within the exhibition as a form of ‘propositional critical machine’. It is designed as a coherent environment that embodies a multiplicity of voices - a democratic archipelago in which hidden structures expose subliminal yet intended narratives.