saint-petersburg-russia

Thomas Hirschhorn, ABSCHLAG (Felling) (detail), 2014, mixed media and paintings by Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov, and Olga Rozanova. Installation view. Photo: Egor Rogalev.

Manifesta 10

The State Hermitage Museum

Thomas Hirschhorn, ABSCHLAG (Felling) (detail), 2014, mixed media and paintings by Kazimir Malevich, Pavel Filonov, and Olga Rozanova. Installation view. Photo: Egor Rogalev.

AS A STUDENT OF MODERNISM in the 1980s and ’90s, I was taught that the genre of manifesto literature, rich in declarative sentences and visionary ambitions, had petered out before my time; I was reading great prose in a dead language. Then came 1996, and Manifesta. Cleverly feminized, corporatized, and maybe pluralized, “Manifesta” as a title revived a modernist keyword—an emblem of the collective and rebellious—while acknowledging the institutionalization of a modernist ethos in contemporary times. “You will not find paintings or monumental sculptures. You will not see a traditional presentation. . . . Get acquainted with the many interesting museums in Rotterdam and the work of numerous challenging, still relatively unknown artists from all over Europe,” read the brief for its first iteration, whose organizers (a five-member team spearheaded by Katalyn Neray) had taken

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