Creating New Europe via Contemporary Art in Post-Wall Era: Examining Manifesta- European Biennial of Contemporary Art in the Context of Intermingled Relationships between Art, Society and Politics

Erdem Çolak | University of Amsterdam | Creating New Europe via Contemporary Art in Post-Wall Era: Examining Manifesta- European Biennial of Contemporary Art in the Context of Intermingled Relationships between Art, Society and Politics | Supervisors: Johan Hartle, Mia Lerm-Hayes | 2017-2021

Whilst the identity question of European Union after rapid enlargement have been resonating, Eurozone economic crisis and migrant crisis have been two relatively new ones that threat Eurocentric ideas. Reflections to these crises on art become matter not only in contemporary art world / art market but also in society and politics in the context of visualisation of New Europe and democracy. Thus, complicated relations between art institutions, museums, sponsor companies, political institutions, NGO’s, individual artists and audiences have to be investigated by a broader perspective (See Gielen, 2009; Stallabras, 2004; Wu, 2002). As Madžoski addresses, the terms used in the title ‘European’ and ‘contemporary art’ refer to political and aesthetic fields, respectively and therefore a biennial has to be investigated in the transformed relationship of politics and art (2013: 84). The aim of this project is, to discuss these complex relations between art institutions, artists and audiences after the fall of the Berlin Wall over Manifesta, European Biennial of Contemporary Art, which is currently one of the most important art event in Europe. In this study, Manifesta could not only be discussed by its institutional base (by investigating its funds and politics of its curatorial selections), but also by its artistic base (namely how artists’ works reflect/ deflect to these intricate relations) and by audiences’ compatibilities / reflections / challenges. That is why this research will mainly seek to follow all three agencies’ purposes / participations / actions / challenges in order to map this complexity and point out the possible problems.