Kasper König has announced the artists he is featuring in Manifesta 10, which will be held in St Petersburg this summer. The list includes super established names like Henri Matisse, Joseph Beuys, Cindy Sherman, Louise Bourgeois and Bruce Nauman, mixing them with midcareer artists.
There have been calls for a boycott of the event in protest against the Russian government's attitude to gay rights, as well as the situation in the Ukraine. In response to a statement by König that he did not want the exhibition to be purely about sabre-rattling political statements, Russian collective Chto Delat announced earlier this month that they would be withdrawing from the show. In the group's statement, Chto Delat expressed disappointment at Manifesta’s failure to react directly to the political crisis engulfing Russia. 'Our aim at least should be to turn every cultural project into a manifestation of dissent against the Russian government’s policy of violence, repressions, and lies,' the statement read. 'Even if you are staging Shakespeare or exhibiting Matisse, the task of culture today is to find the artistic language to bring home that simple message.'
Nonetheless, König's artist choice could still cause him headaches with the Russian authorities – a number on the list have made work with overt references of homosexuality in the past, including Wolfgang Tilmans and Henrik Olesen, and may choose to do so again. Manifesta will spread beyond the confines of its main venue, The Hermitage, with public commissions by Pawel Althamer, Ragnar Kjartansson (whose commission will be situated in a major train station) and Mierle Laderman Ukeles.
Manifesta 10 will take place from 28 June to 31 October 2014 with the following artists contributing:
Marc Camille Chaimowicz
Ann Veronica Janssens
Erik van Lieshout
Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Slavs and Tatars