Discovering and photographing the unknown beauty of Europe
According to Wikipedia,
Manifesta began as a Dutch initiative to create a pan-European platform for the contemporary visual arts. Unlike most biennials, Manifesta is held in a different location each time it is held, and the concept of an itinerant event first took shape in Rotterdam in 1996, in consultation with a specially appointed International Advisory Board (the forerunner of the present International Foundation), and the support of various national governmental arts organisations and ministries of culture in Europe. The main office of the International Foundation Manifesta, initator of the various editions of the Manifesta Biennial is located in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
This year, Manifesta was held in Waterschei (Genk) in Belgium, in a former coal mine complex. Or as the website of the biennial states,
For the first time in the history of Manifesta, the biennial will not only present an international, industry-leading selection of contemporary art. The exhibition will also consist of an impressive collection of historical works and will display the rich mining heritage in a surprising and innovative way to both local and international audiences. (…) Curator Cuauhtémoc Medina (Mexico City) developed the concept for Manifesta 9, addressing the social and societal impact of the recent past in Limburg. The exhibition The Deep of the Modern will be presented as a triptych. For the first section, 35 international contemporary artists are invited to create new work, paying heed to regional context, linking the local theme with global issues. The art historical section provides an overview of works of art from the 19th and 20th Centuries, with the impact of the coal industry as their subject. The third section focuses on the extensive legacy that the Limburg mining industry has left behind.
Since The Viking and I love contemporary art and since we thought it was exceptional to visit such an art project in Belgium, we went to Waterschei to have a look. We came back elated and with dozens of pictures!
The entrance of the building was located in the basement. Here you could buy your ticket, have a snack in the restaurant and buy something in the bookshop. The ground-floor was dedicated to the history of the coal mine, whereas on the first and the second floor you could see all the artworks.
Here are some impressions of what we saw on the ground-floor.