She was in Rotterdam, Luxembourg, Ljubljana, Frankfurt, Donostia/San Sebastian, Trentino-South Tyrol, Murcia, Genk, St. Petersburg – and makes guest appearance this summer in Zurich. Manifesta 11, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, open its doors next weekend, June 11th, and takes place in most unusual places throughout the city; at the dentist, at a dog parlor, at the police station or the crematorium, amongst the main Biennial venues. What’s happening at Manifesta 11 and what should not be missed? Get a sneak peek.

‘What do I do for money’ is the starting point for the curatorial concept of Manifesta 11, developed by curator Christian Jankowski. From early childhood on, work is regarded as something of essential importance for human and personal desires. The job we choose plays a major role in the development of our identity, in how we think, speak, behave and relate with other people. The eleventh edition of Manifesta therefore focuses on different fields of work that exist in Zurich and their relation to art.


Manifesta 11, Katherine Bernhardt, Zurich, Platea Magazine

Katherine Bernhardt, Cigarettes and Toilet Paper, Black and Pink, 2016, Courtesy of Carl Freedman Gallery, London and Canada Gallery, New York © Katherine Bernhardt and Manifesta 11

Manifesta 11, Zurich, Paulina Olowska, Platea Magazine

Paulina Olowska, The Tychy Plant, 2013, Oil and collage on canvas © Paulina Olowska and Manifesta 11

Manifesta 11, Zurich, Sharon Lockhart, Lunch Break Installation, Platea Magazine

Sharon Lockhart, Lunch Break Installation, “Duane Hanson: Sculptures of Life,” 14 December 2002 – 23 February 2003, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 2003 (4 images) © Sharon Lockhart and Manifesta 11

One section is called ‘Joint Ventures’. Around thirty international artists will develop art projects with local ‘hosts’, all of them representatives of different occupations. These projects will celebrate art, but more over address on-going cultural, political and social changes within the European cultural landscape by contextualising the geopolitical issues that determine its dynamics. The result of these dialogues will be exhibited at the hosts’ workplaces, the so-called satellite venues, as well as the main Manifesta venues, such as the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, the LUMA Westbau / POOL, Kunsthalle Zürich and Helmhaus.

Next to the ‘Joint Ventures’, another section of Manifesta 11 brings together artworks from the last 50 years to examine how work can be the subject of artistic reflection. The show called ‘Historical Exhibition: Sites Under Construction’, curated by Biennial curator Christian Jankowski and Francesca Gavin, is divided into eleven chambers and will feature artworks by August Sander, Ed Ruscha, Dieter Meier, Thomas Ruff, Katherine Bernhardt or Kim Gordon amongst many other.

During the 100 days of Biennial, Cabaret Voltaire, the house of Dada, will be transformed into a guildhall for artists called ‘Cabaret der Künstler – Zunfthaus Voltaire’. Inspired by traditional guilds, where like-minded people with same professions collectively meet, so called joint venture performances will take place.

Another must-see is the ‘Pavillon of Reflections’, a floating boat on the Lake of Zurich that has been developed by 30 ETH students. While it will remain a bathhouse during the days, the ‘Pavillon’ will be transformed into a open air cinema venue and bar during the evenings. That’s not all. Countless side events during the Manifesta 11 (f.e. the open air cinema Xenix) are worth checking out. What talents we discover you will find here soon.

Manifesta 11, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, Dada, Platea Magazine

Visualisation of outside of Cabaret der Künstler – Zunfthaus Voltaire © Manifesta 11/ETH Assistenzprofessur Prof. Dr. Alex Lehnerer

Manifesta 11, Pavillon of Reflections, Zurich, ETH Studio Emerson, Platea Magazine

Concept of “Pavillon of Reflections” © ETH Studio Emerson

Manifesta 11, Pavillon of Reflections, ETH Studio Emerson, Platea Magazine, Zurich

Architectural Model Pavillon of Reflections © ETH Studio Emerson

Manifesta 11, Pavillon of Reflections, ETH Studio Emerson, Platea Magazine, Zurich

Rendering of Pavillon of Reflections © ETH Studio Emerson

Manifesta 11 will run from 11 June until 18 September 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland.