Manifesta 8 Flashback

David Campbell, Mark Durden, Ian Brown

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


ACAF was involved in curating Manifesta 8, European Biennial of Contemporary Art that recently closed its doors to the public. Manifesta is an itinerate biennale taking place every two years in a different European host region/city. In 2010 it was hosted by Murcia and Cartagena in Eastern Spain it was curated by three different curatorial collectives, each of them developing a project as an autonomous curatorial contribution. The collectives were ACAF - Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, CPS - Chamber of Public Secrets and The ACAF curatorial team for Manifesta 8 was made up of Bassam El Baroni (artistic director, ACAF) and Jeremy Beaudry (associate curator of ACAF's Manifesta 8 project and a practicing artist and university professor based in Philadelphia, USA). Their curatorial assistant was Yolanda Riquelme Garcia a young curator from Murcia. For Manifesta 8, ACAF raised the question 'How can any art project genuinely touch on the sophisticated and haphazard web of life's complexity?' In response, they proposed OVERSCORE, a multifaceted project held together by the logic of a specially devised, theoretical interface called The Theory of Applied Enigmatics. Here, the term 'Enigmatics' refers to ideas and proposals which appear or resonate from a confrontation with complexity. An overscore is a line drawn through words. It partially erases them but also shows an ongoing process of editing; it reveals and obscures the past, while establishing links with what emerges in the present and future. Similarly, The Theory of Applied Enigmatics both highlights and seeks to revise the accepted institutional blueprints - those sometimes idealistic and often subconscious models - which are used to simplify complex issues concerning life, people, places, events, history and culture within artistic practice today. It also acts as the mechanism connecting the intellectual input of a diverse array of artists and contributors. The theory offers itself to the visitor as a key with which s/he can unlock the underlying frameworks of history, culture and politics existing in, and between, the artists' works. OVERSCORE was a project held together by the logic that The Theory of Applied Enigmatics outlined and oversaw, one project with four components, spread across three venues. OVERSCORE featured works and contributions by 37 artists and collaborators, the exhibition component alone presented newly-commissioned and existing works by 27 artists and collectives. Manifesta 8 Flashback is an exhibition that presents 5 video works that were part of OVERSCORE at Manifesta 8, the works are by Michael Paul Britto, Common Culture, Melanie Gilligan, Nastio Mosquito, and Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz. In the same context Bassam El Baroni will deliver a long presentation about OVERSCORE and ACAF's curatorial approach to Manifesta 8.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2011
EventManifesta 8 Flashback - Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Alexandria, Egypt
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …

Cite this