Manifesta 9, The Deep of the Modern, opened with a great success
With great interest of about 3,000 international press and art professionals, Manifesta 9 The Deep of the Modern opened in the coal mining complex André Dumont in Waterschei, Genk, Belgium. The first articles published about Manifesta 9 not only praise the use of a single venue for Manifesta 9, but also the innovative curatorial approach of the curatorial team; Cuauhtémoc Medina, Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades. The unusual combination of art and heritage, as well as the first attempt in history to provide the visitors with an overview of how coal mining influenced modern art, are the striking points.
For the first time, Manifesta took place in a single venue. The starting point is the location: the Campine coal-mining region in north-eastern Belgium and the previously abandoned recently restored Waterschei mine complex in Genk. This is a landscape with many layers - garden cities, factories, canals, roads and railroads built throughout the 20th century to serve the coal-mining industry.
For the duration of 120 days this summer the Manifesta 9 exhibition venue features an educational hub and mediation centre, forming the nucleus of the activities, ranging from concerts, tours, and workshops to performances with artists. Education and mediation are at the core of Manifesta 9 and the team was able to sell 11.400 entrance tickets prior to the opening to a broad variety of school groups, universities, art and cultural institutions and various organisators. The education and mediation team strives to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between professionals and the general audience alike, by supplying the resources and creating opportunities for dialogue, to help experience the very best in contemporary art, historical art and heritage. The program includes workshops for students, training sessions for primary and secondary school teachers, visits by students of international art schools and a special Manifesta 9 publication.
The publication accompanying Manifesta 9 is not a typical exhibition catalogue. It adopts the form of an encyclopaedia, encompassing the arguments proposed by the curators, serving as a reference book and as a record of the research processes behind the biennial. This Manifesta Biennial catalogue will also be available online and for free – catalog.manifesta9.org. It is a web based research tool complimenting the exhibition and will serve as a resource for future Manifesta editions. It will include extensive extra content, such as video material from the preparations of the exhibition, the opening, interviews with previous Manifesta collaborators, plus content and practical information concerning Manifesta 9. The Manifesta 9 online catalogue will in initially be made available only to a specific group of beta testers and later opened to public access.
The complete version of the online will go live on the 1st of July, 2012.
The Manifesta 9 Parallel Events Program also commenced over the opening weekend. The Parallel Events program is composed of 100 projects, that are closely aligned to the Region of Limburg and Genk, and in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Manifesta director Hedwig Fijen joined the opening of “Tesi Samanunga” on Saturday the 2nd of June, 2012 in the EXPOapostelhuis near Alden Biesen. Please find more information on www.paralleleventsm9.eu
The Deep of the Modern
André Dumont coal mining complex, Waterschei, Genk, Belgium (20 km of Maastricht)
2 June t/m 30 September, 2012
Open Tuesdays – Sundays: 10h00-19h00 / Fridays 10h00-22h00 (Mondays: closed) www.manifesta9.org