The seventy-one Collateral Events, running in parallel to the Manifesta 12 biennial, have been rigorously selected from an international open call. The 631 applications largely came from Palermo and Sicily with additional international private and public institutions, non-profit organisations, artists, and art professionals. The jury selecting the final projects was composed of international and local arts professionals.
Each of the proposals were evaluated in terms of being sound interdisciplinary cultural projects taking place during the same period as Manifesta 12 while also adhering to the same high-quality standards as the nomadic biennial.
M12 Collateral Events, while not a part of the Planetary Garden program, receive full communication support from Manifesta 12, promoted through digital and analogue channels of Manifesta 12 including the website, guidebook, social, app, and map. Accordingly, the independence of the Manifesta 12 Collateral Events means that the projects are separately funded through sponsorships and partners, both locally and internationally.
Throughout Palermo and other communities in Sicily, amazing venues have generously opened their doors to host the Manifesta 12 Collateral Events. Locations from stupendous Baroque palaces to Norman architectural masterpieces and artisanal workshops, many of which have never received the public, can now be seen and experienced through the lens of local, national, and international cultural organisers. Entire squares, fountains, quarters, and streets await discovery with numerous workshops, performances, exhibitions, and audio-visual installations.
An intentional symbiotic structure has been developed in which the Manifesta 12 Collateral Events benefit from Manifesta’s international scope and visitors. Building on this, the ever-widening reach of the Manifesta 12 Collateral Events extends beyond the limits of the biennial, involving local neighbourhoods and communities outside the boundaries of the art world and facilitating integration and inclusion through art- the innate communicative language we all possess.
This new model of what was formerly called Manifesta Parallel Events programme, is designed as a compliment to the M12 Collateral Events, developing long-term exchanges and networking between Palermo’s cultural communities and Manifesta’s diverse international network of artists, galleries, academic, and educational institutions.
Like the M12 Collateral Events, the 5x5x5 programme extends the reach of Manifesta 12 into neighbourhoods, schools, historic churches, palaces and unique buildings; each carrying an imprint from the multicultural history of the city, whose sum total form the Palermo we know today. The goal of 5x5x5 is to encourage cultural continuity, prolonging Manifesta’s commitment and work in 2018 by creating sustainable collaborations with the aim of a long-lasting legacy for Palermo after closing Manifesta.
The main criteria for inviting the proposals were that the artistic projects had to take place in Palermo during the same time frame as Manifesta 12 and demonstrate the active involvement of, and participation with, the local art scene or local professionals, organisations or students.
A jury of national and international art professionals, selected the projects for the 5x5x5 programme, which guaranteed the same high-quality standards as Manifesta 12. The international open call for the 5x5x5 programme received 188 proposals, of which 15 were selected by the jury. These 15 projects, separated into 3 categories, are made up of 5 artists, 5 educational institutions, and 5 galleries, thus bringing together the 5x5x5 programme.
The selected artists and artist collectives will take part in residencies in public and private spaces throughout the city of Palermo with the participation of the local community. The artist’s studios will be open to all, resulting in a final project or presentation, often elaborated in an exhibition or performance. The educational projects will take the form of workshops, seminars, and forums facilitated by educational institutions worldwide, and investigating themes central to the role of the city of Palermo. The gallery programme will feature pop-up exhibitions from renowned national and international galleries, amplifying the artistic perspective and gaze on Palermo.
The 5x5x5 programme presents a unique opportunity to experience Palermo as envisioned through the bespoke projects from a multitude of nations, including Egypt, England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, and Turkey.