Manifesta7, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art will be hosted by the Trentino-South Tyrol Region from July 19 to November 2, 2008. For the first time it will take place in Italy and will stretch across an entire regional territory - one hundred and fifty kilometres of crossroads of different cultures and intersecting traditions, rich in historical monuments and in sites of industrial archeology. It involves four cities which together create a single connecting route along the Brenner axis between the north and south of Europe: Fortezza (Bressanone), ex-Alumix factory in Bolzano, the Palazzo delle Poste in Trento, Manifattura Tabacchi and ex-Peterlini factory in Rovereto.
The curators, appointed by Manifesta International Foundation and selected from more than twenty candidates, function in the different cities as three co-ordinated, but autonomous, curatorial units: Adam Budak in Rovereto develops his exhibition between the 20th Century ex-Peterlini industrial building and the 19th century Manifattura Tabacchi; Anselm Franke and Hila Peleg in Trento work at the former Post Office, a rationalist building from the 1930s; Raqs Media Collective, formed by Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula & Shuddhabrata Sengupta, work at ex-Alumix, an industrial building from the beginning of the 20th Century in Bolzano. The entire curatorial team converges for the project taking place in the fourth exhibition venue, the massive Austrian fortress of Fortezza, with a project exploring the concept of immaterial dimension.
The four central shows of Manifesta 7 will host about 140 artists from all over the world, with paintings, sculptures, videos, installations and sound works, the majority of which are being specially created for the occasion. Among the artists participating, many are Italian and they be will be supported in the production of their artworks by PARC, General Management for the quality and the protection of the environment, architecture and contemporary art, Ministry for arts and culture.
Together with the Manifesta 7 exhibitions, other parallel events will take place throughout the regional territory: a selected program that will include about 100 shows, events, performances and concerts promoted by the numerous cultural institutions and associations that help make Trentino-South Tyrol such a dynamic region in terms of the contemporary arts.
According to Manifesta's tradition, particular attention is dedicated to educational activities throughout the entire regional territory. A special didactic program has been conceived, incorporating the different shows, so as to offer space for the audience to learn and interact, and to start an exchange of ideas between the audience and those who are in charge of the didactic sector.
Manifesta is one of the globe's most important reviews of contemporary art, characterized by its roving, border-crossing existence within a European environment. It takes place every two years in a different city. Previous editions were hosted by the cities of Rotterdam (1996), Luxemburg (1998), Ljiubljana (2000), Frankfurt (2002), San Sebastian (2004), Nicosia (2006).
Manifesta (and those activities directly connected to it) are initiatives of the International Foundation Manifesta in Amsterdam, which is the only permanent structure of this otherwise nomadic biennial.