For those not familiar with it, Manifesta is an interdisciplinary exhibition that features talks, concerts, performances, films, and workshops where visitors face uncomfortable topics such as global war and surveillance, climate change, toxicity, and migration. This year’s edition, the Biennale is signed by four cultural mediators: Spanish architect Andrés Jaque, journalist and filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak, Sicilian-born architect and OMA partner Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, and curator Mirjam Varadinis.
Even though it has its headquarters in the Teatro Comunale Garibaldi, located in the historic Piazza Magione, the city itself is the main stage of the biennial: decaying palaces, oratories, enchanted ruins, spectacular churches, extravagant courtyards, and rarely accessible places of wonder lend a superb atmospheric backdrop to the festival. The show shapes up three main sections: Garden of Flows, at Orto Botanico and palazzo Butera; City on Stage, at Palazzo Constantino, Teatro Garibaldi, Instituto Padre Messina and the suburban sites Costa Sud, Pizzo Sella, and ghetto area Zona Espansione Nord (ZEN); and Out of Control Room, at Palazzi Ajutamcristo, Forcella de Seta, Trinacria, and Casa del Mutilato. Also, Manifesta 12 will be further expanded by more than seventy collateral events.