2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of Manifesta. In its jubilee edition, Manifesta will reevaluate the past twenty-five years of changing realities, experiences, and transformations brought about by the shifting world order. The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg was selected by the Board of the Manifesta Foundation to host MANIFESTA 10 because of its critical, intellectual, and historical relationship with East and West Europe: a principle at the core of Manifesta's own beginnings. Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great as her personal art collection, the State Hermitage Museum has been open to the public since 1852, and in 2014 celebrates 250 years of existence. The recently renovated General Staff Building, the new premises for modern and contemporary art at the State Hermitage Museum, will be fully open this year, acting as the main stage for Manifesta 10.
Led by Curator Kasper König, MANIFESTA 10 will expand the artistic exchange made possible by the events of 1989–91. More than 50 leading contemporary artists from Russia and around the world will participate, with a number of artists creating new works specifically for MANIFESTA 10. The Biennial will be a landmark opportunity to experience and learn more about the geopolitical history of the site and venues, along with various positions within contemporary art, in the company of works of historical excellence held in the Hermitage's collection.
Education, mediation, and public and parallel programs play an important role in MANIFESTA 10, in its investigations of the notions and role of contemporary culture in a changing society. MANIFESTA 10 will reach out to broad publics by offering events and encounters with art outside of the State Hermitage Museum, bringing the exhibition into the city and a step closer towards people's everyday lives.
“We are excited that the Manifesta 10 jubilee edition will be hosted by the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. This partnership of Manifesta: its roving nature, its innovative curatorial methodology and experimental artistic practices with such an influential historical museum as the Hermitage is unprecedented. St. Petersburg has historically bridged the gap between East and West Europe for more than 300 years and through the spirit of the European enlightenment movement in the 18th Century, the notion of the Encyclopaedia edited by Diderot and D’Alembert and acquired by Catherine The Great for the State Hermitage Museum could become an inspiration for Manifesta 10 in 2014.” Hedwig Fijen, Founding Director of Manifesta
“The State Hermitage Museum is glad to host Manifesta in 2014, the year when the Hermitage will be celebrating its 250th anniversary. With the arrival of Manifesta, the Hermitage will highlight its traditions: its roots within the epoch of Catherine the Great and her passion for the contemporary art of her time, and the role that the Museum’s collections and exhibitions have always played in the artistic life of Russia. We see contemporary art as a natural, albeit intricate, development of these age-old traditions. Therefore, the key moment in Manifesta 10 for us will be the theme of the Hermitage in today’s context.” Prof. Mikhail Piotrovsky Director General of The State Hermitage Museum
“Manifesta was built up as a platform for dialogue in between the East and the West. Reaching St. Petersburg Manifesta will find itself in the country of an extreme European East and in the city that was conceived as its extreme Western outpost. Manifesta has always been seeking new places, their genius, their particularity and their historical, cultural and political complexity. St. Petersburg is a city of the complex cultural and political past and of the present. To do a Manifesta here is a challenge. And that is another strong reason to be present. Manifesta is approaching its 10th edition; its history is short, but it already exists. The Hermitage with its glorious heritage is a coherent place to reflect on two ‘Manifesta decades’.” Viktor Misiano Chair of the Manifesta Foundation, Russian art critic and curator
“St. Petersburg has historically been and remains until now the outstanding cultural centre of Russia. Supporting the leader of Russian culture – the State Hermitage museum – in its aspiration for development of society’s interest towards contemporary art and the understanding of art processes taking place in the world, the City Government will give its support in the preparation and organization of Manifesta 10 in the cultural capital of Russia.” Vassily Kizhedzhi Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg