Manifesta 12, the 12th edition of the European nomadic biennial, taking place in Palermo from 16 June until 4 November 2018, unveils the first 10 participants included in the programme and 5 of the locations throughout the city. In total, the biennial will consist of more than 30 newly commissioned works, public installations, performances, and urban interventions and will take place in more than 15 iconic venues in Palermo.

This year’s theme, “The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence, a  concept which explores coexistence in a world moved by invisible networks, transnational private interests, algorithmic intelligence and ever-increasing inequalities through the unique lens of Palermo – a crossroads of three continents in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Indeed, the Manifesta 12 concept was extracted from the city itself through a preliminary phase of investigation by OMA, Palermo Atlas. It was the first time that Manifesta had kicked-off the biennial with a research by an architecture office, favoring an interdisciplinary approach necessary to understand how to decode Palermo in all its complexities and amplify the already existing energy of the city in experimental ways. So Manifesta 12 is the first edition to include not only traditional art curators, but an interdisciplinary group of specialists in the curatorial team as  Bregtje van der Haak who is a renowned Dutch journalist and filmmaker; Andrés Jaque is a Spanish architect, founder of the Office for Political Innovation and professor at Columbia University; Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli is a Sicilian-born architect and partner at OMA/AMO, and Mirjam Varadinis is a Swiss contemporary art curator at Kunsthaus Zurich. The goal was to have a deeper understanding of social, cultural and geographical textures of the city; highlight its existing opportunities; and provide a source for audiences to understand contemporary transformations through “the eyes” of Palermo. The Creative Mediators choose to be “radically local in engaging with the city in all of its diverse components”, instigating a dialogue between Manifesta 12 participants and local communities, as well as mobilising local partners through all stages of the biennial development. So, through this necessary close collaboration with Palermitan partners and local community, Manifesta 12 will co-inhabit Palermo as a laboratory to investigate the challenges of our time and look for traces of possible futures.

The exhibition encompasses 30 newly commissioned artworks scattered around more than 15 venues throughout the historic port city and by now an eclectic array of 10 artist who will take part and create for this special event.

Here’s some project revealed  we know so far about how Manifesta is shaping up.

Maria Thereza Alves

Brazilian artist Maria Thereza Alves, frequently depicts plant life and works with  botany diversity questioning cultural stratification over history and colonialism. Her works have been exhibited in major institutions and museum as Venice Biennale and New Museum in NY. For Manifesta 12, her project  A purpose of Syncretism (without genocide) will exhibit in Palermo Zen District an installation dedicated to the floral diversity of Sicily as metaphor and testimony of its cultural cross-road identity

Gilles Clément & Coloco.

Gilles Clément, a French philosopher and landscape architect who inspired the title of the show with his book The Planetary Garden, will create an urban garden in collaboration with the London-based design studio Coloco in Palermo’s Zen district, which will involve all the local community with workshop and a social collaborating development model.



Jelili Atiku

Pioneering Nigerian performance artist Jelili Atiku will lead a procession through the city streets on Manifesta’s professional preview day on June 15 inspired to Social traditional ones as important collective ritual to develop a collective sense of solidarity. 





Cooking Sections
Cooking Sections

London-based collective Cooking Sections have developed a project based on site-specific agricultural irrigation systems based on a  hydrogeography study of local resources,  that will be installed at various venues.







John Gerrard

Irish computer graphic and multimedia digital  artist John Gerrard will present his works at Palazzo Ajutamicristo and Palazzo Forcella De Seta : Untitled (near Parndorf) Austia 2015:  a video-installation whah intent is to effectively create a virtual  portrait of a tragic scene he went through in a Austria highways, urging social responsibility toward several daily tragedy all around us.


Khalil Rabah

One of the most exciting projects comes from the Palestinian Khalil Rabah, artist and director of the Riwaq Biennale, who will create a market of artifacts at the Botanical garden decorated with assemblages and sculptures inspired by local markets on the island.



Marilena Senatore, Piccolo Caos, 2013


Representing the host country, the Italian and sicily born artist  Marinella Senatore will stage a collective dance movement in the historic city center.



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