Introduction to Manifesta Journal Series 3

Hedwig Fijen

The format of Manifesta Journal (MJ), like the Manifesta biennial, is a changing model. Every six editions, a new Editorial Team from diverse areas of Europe and beyond are invited to develop a different concept for the series; to reflect on contemporary Europe and the world. Initiated by the Manifesta Foundation, the Manifesta Journal is an independent project. It aims to be critical and self-reflective toward the theory and practice of international curatorship and biennials in general, but also towards its own functional mechanisms.

We are very proud of the realization of the second series of the Manifesta Journal in which the MJ editorial team sought to establish a comprehensive manual, comprised of a wide-reaching sequence of both theoretical and pragmatic articles, often produced by up-and-coming writers, curators and artists in addition to theoreticians and practitioners from marginalized areas of Europe and the world. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the editorial team of the second series of the Manifesta Journal—Viktor Misiano, Nathalie Zonnenberg, Filipa Ramos and Lisa Mazza—for their invaluable contributions.

Following the spirit and model of the Manifesta biennial, we have appointed a new editorial team for the third series of the Maniesta Journal (2011–2013), with Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez as chief editor and Virginie Bobin as associate editor. In this third series, Manifesta Journal intends to reconsider the notion of contemporary curatorship and focus on its (geo)political, social and controversial potentials, its ability to instigate fresh discussion, to observe its past and comment on its possible future. As a response to the consolidated understanding of the notion “curatorial”, the subtitle of this series of Manifesta Journal will be Manifesta Journal—“Around Curatorial Practices”.

Another major change in the Manifesta Journal will be its transformation from a printed publication into a free online magazine. As ever, we stand for the open exchange of knowledge.  With this development, the MJ intentionally deviates from the selectiveness of many academic journals to become a widely available source tool in which a reciprocal relationship with our audiences is established. We are thus pleased to announce that from MJ #13 onwards, the Manifesta Journal will be freely accessible worldwide. This will enable us to communicate with greatly expanded and previously disconnected audiences.

With this new series, the Manifesta Journal will become more integrated with other projects developed by the Manifesta Foundation. To this effect, the guest editors of the present first issue of the third series, MJ #13, is the curatorial team of Manifesta 9: Cuauhtémoc Medina, Dawn Ades and Katerina Gregos. Entitled “Fungus in the Contemporary”, the issue metaphorically addresses the re-activation and re-contextualisation of the 1960s in contemporary art practices. It takes the form of artistic or historical suppositions that can be seen as spying on, fictionalizing or causing delays in the contemporary condition.

The following three issues, MJ #14-16, will be guest edited by Lebanese film curator Rasha Salti, and will explore the “politics of time” as a crucial approach to both art and society. 

I would like to extend a special thanks to Lisa Mazza, MJ managing editor, as well as Diana Hillesheim and Georgia Taperell for their valuable support and input into the multi-faceted Manifesta Journal project. In a time of tumultuous social, political and economic change, the contextualization of contemporary curatorial practices and theory shall no doubt be a great challenge, with its own rewards. I therefore wholeheartedly support the new team and wish them success in their new undertaking.

Hedwig Fijen, Director of Manifesta