Manifesta goes beyond the limits of Barcelona and will be deployed in 12 cities in the metropolitan area

The fifteenth edition of the European biennial of nomadic art, which will be held from September 8 to November 24, 2024, focuses on cures, urban conflicts and possible futures

De dreta a esquerra: Cristina Castells, Imma Vilches, Ariadna Amat, Mireia Mascarell, Penélope Cañizares, Hedwig Fijen, Filipa Oliveira, David Linares, Óscar Abril, Gisel Noè, Andreu Dengra, Raquel Morcillo, Joan González © Pietro Bertora / Manifesta 15 Barcelona
Manifesta goes beyond the limits of Barcelona and will be deployed in 12 cities in the metropolitan area

For the first time, the biennial, founded in 1993, which changes its location every two years looking for unique spaces in the European territory, will transgress the limits of the host city to expand in different spaces and cultural centers of twelve cities in the metropolitan region : Badalona, Barcelona, Cornellà de Llobregat, El Prat del Llobregat, Granollers, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Mataró, Sabadell, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Sant Cugat del Vallès and Terrassa.

The director and founder of Manifesta, Hedwig Fijen, explained, in a multitudinous press conference held on Wednesday in the building of the former Gustavo Gili publishing house in the Catalan capital, in the presence of political representatives of the municipalities involved, that "no it is the first time that Manifesta lands in Spain [in 2006 it was held in Donostia and in 2010 in Murcia], but the Barcelona edition will not be equal to any other, it will be the largest of those that have been held until now". And it is that the organizers took up the gauntlet of the Barcelona City Council, which suggested that they "expand and cross the city limits" and become "the first cultural project produced from Barcelona of the five million", in the words of Jordi Martí, current Secretary of State for Culture of the Spanish government and councilor of the Barcelona city council when he opted for this project.

Manifesta goes beyond the limits of Barcelona and will be deployed in 12 cities in the metropolitan area

Thematic triad and headquarters

For eighty days, the biennale will deploy seventy activities and exhibitions in an area of 3,000 square kilometers and a population that exceeds five million inhabitants. With this decentralized territorial premise, the three headquarters were announced from which the three main themes of this edition will be developed that will reverberate in other nearby facilities. The first peak is at Les Tres Xemeneies de Sant Adrià, which will be opened to the public for the first time before the government inaugurates the audiovisual center Catalunya Media City. From there, the theme Imagining futures will be explored, which will radiate to the river Besòs and the prison of Mataró, at the M|A|C Mataró Contemporary Art. The second is at the Monastery of Sant Cugat, as a point for Care and being cared for that will continue at Vapor Buxeda Vell de Sabadell, an old textile factory, the episcopal complex of Ègara in Terrassa and Roca Umbert de Granollers, a transformed textile factory in cultural center. And the third is Casa Gomis del Prat, better known as La Ricarda, located in a natural space threatened by the expansion of the airport. Balancing conflicts will be tackled from this rationalist building that will stretch the thread to the old Can Trinxet textile factory in L'Hospitalet. In the middle of this triangle, the headquarters of Gustavo Gili functions as the core of the biennial bringing together archival projects around the colonial past, cultural movements during the Franco regime and Catalan educational renewal.

Manifesta goes beyond the limits of Barcelona and will be deployed in 12 cities in the metropolitan area

Artistic team and participants

"Manifesta is," Fijen emphasized, "a European biennial that wherever it goes enters the cultural and social fabric and becomes radically local: 90% of the team is Catalan." And, he added: "we have moved away from the curatorial and exhibition format and invited Filipa Oliveira to act as a creative mediator". Oliveira, who has been co-curator of the Coimbra Biennial in Portugal in 2021 and assistant curator of the 28th São Paulo Biennial, will be in charge of shaping the biennial program together with Fijen and eleven artistic representatives from the eleven cities metropolitan These are Ariadna Amat (Badalona), Penélope Cañizares (Cornellà), Cristina Castells (El Prat), Raquel Morcillo (Granollers), Mireia Mascarell (L'Hospitalet), Gisel Noè (Mataró), Óscar Abril Ascaso (Sabadell), David Linares (Sant Adrià), Joan González (Santa Coloma), Andreu Dengra (Sant Cugat) and Imma Vilchez (Terrassa).

The full list of interventions and artists will not be announced until next spring, but the management advanced the 10 artistic projects selected from the 262 that were presented in a closed call on December 1. They are Claudia Pagès, Jokkoo Collective, La Casa dels Futurs, Lola Lasurt, Matias Daporta, Metropolis, Nora Ancarola, Rosa Tharrats & Gabriel Ventura, Tornen les Esquelles and Transductores.

Manifesta goes beyond the limits of Barcelona and will be deployed in 12 cities in the metropolitan area

Manifest 15 in numbers

With Manifesta 15, the organization hopes to reach one million visits spread over the different headquarters. It is an activity that is usually paid for, although on this occasion it will use equipment that is free. On the website it is announced that "Manifesto 15 will have an inclusive ticket at a price of 15 euros which will be valid for all the premises of the biennial, in all cities and for all activities".

Manifesta 15 has a budget of 8,566,860 euros, of which the Barcelona City Council contributes 5,211,513 euros, the Generalitat 1,000,000 euros and the Diputació de Barcelona 1,000,000 euros. In addition, an extra contribution of 800,000 euros and 300,000 euros from the Ministry of Culture of the Spanish government is expected.

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