Presented “palermo Atlas”, the urban study of the city for Manifesta 12






On 1 July 2017 it was presented the study on Palermo commissioned by Manifesta 12 , the European roving biennial of contemporary art, which will be inaugurated in the Sicilian capital on 15 June 2018. The presentation was held at Teatro Garibaldi in the presence of the Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando, of the Director of Manifesta Hedwig Fijen and the Creative Mediator for Manifesta 12, OMA, led by architect Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli.

“Palermo Atlas”, the urban studio, is the initial step of Manifesta 12, proposing both as a project for future planning in Palermo, and as a research facility to ensure a long-term impact on the city and its citizens as well. “Palermo Atlas” represents a new model of creative mediation proposed by Manifesta.

It is the first time that Manifesta invites an architectural studio as a creative mediator with the aim of offering external expertise and a new perspective to the host city.


The city can not be reduced to a single interpretation or to a precise definition. It is rather a complex mosaic of fragments and identities, resulting from centuries of encounters and exchanges between civilizations. Its material archeology, cultural heritage, somatic traits and ecosystems are tangible evidence of lasting syncretism. Contemporary Palermo can be considered a global archipelago: not a globalized city in itself, but an incubator of different global conditions. It acts as a hub of vast geography extending far beyond the Euro-Mediterranean area – from sub-Saharan Africa to Scandinavia, South East Asia to Gibraltar and America,” explains Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli.

“Palermo Atlas offers City analysis and reflection of great value by linking the story of past and recent history with prospects for future development. It is a careful reading of the complexity of Palermo and its inhabitants and of the historical and current connections between the city, the Mediterranean and Europe. The study testifies to the will of the Municipal Administration and Manifesta to permeate the 2018 biennial with the cultural richness of our city and its historic, design and natural culture of welcome and peaceful coexistence.” – Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo

“The Palermo Atlas of Manifesta 12 should be used as a sustainable tool for the development of an heritage that goes beyond the biennial roving Manifesta 12” – Hedwig Fijen, Manifesta’s Director.

Palermo Atlas” was presented at the Teatro Garibaldi, reopened recently and assigned to Manifesta from the City of Palermo. Before the biennial, the Teatro Garibaldi will be used as a temporary venue for Manifesta 12 and a cultural center for the Palermitans, hosting an exhibition to discover Manifesta’s history, a pop-up cafe, an art library, movie projections, Workshops and more. The Theater will also be one of the key places of the biennial in 2018.

The results of the “Palermo Atlas” will be translated into a useful biennial program by four Creative Mediators, including the Italian architect and partner of OMA Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Dutch director Bregtje van der Haak, Spanish architect and scholar Andrés Jaque, and the Swiss curator of contemporary art Mirjam Varadinis.

Palermo Atlas

Manifesta 12 Palermo – Date
15.06.18 – 04.11.18
Press and professionals previews 13.06 – 14.06.18

Manifesta 12 Palermo – Promoters:
The City of Palermo

Creative mediators of Manifesta 12 Palermo:
Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Italian architect and partner of OMA
Bregtje van der Haak, Dutch director and journalist
Andrés Jaque, Spanish architect, artist and scholar resident in New York
Mirjam Varadinis, Swiss curator of contemporary art

Manifesta Digital:
# Manifesta12Palermo
Facebook: manifestabiennial
Instagram: manifestabiennial

About Manifesta
Manifesta, the European roving bienniale, was born in the early 1990s in response to the political, economic and social change that began at the end of the Cold War and with the consequent initiatives towards European integration. From the beginning, Manifesta has constantly evolved into a platform for dialogue between art and society in Europe, inviting the cultural and artistic community to produce new creative experiences with the context in which they are held. Manifesta is a site-specific cultural project that reinterprets the relationships between culture and society through a continuous dialogue with the social sphere.

Manifesta was founded in Amsterdam by Dutch art historian Hedwig Fijen, who is still driving. Each new edition is initiated and funded individually, and is managed by a permanent team of international specialists. Manifesta works from his offices in Amsterdam and Palermo, with one of the next opening in Marseilles. Directed by Hedwig Fijen and Peter Paul Kainrath, the Permanent Team consists of Tatiana Tarragó, Paul Domela, Esther Regueira, Yana Klichuk, Asell Yusupova, Marieke van Hal and Mikaela Poltz, as well as Manifesta 12’s Managing Director Roberto Albergoni and Francesca Rod. In the next decade, Manifesta will focus on its evolution from an authoritative biennial of contemporary art to an interdisciplinary European platform designed to explore and catalyze a positive social change in Europe through contemporary culture.

About OMA
OMA is an international company operating within the traditional boundaries of architecture and urban planning. AMO, a research and design studio, applies architectural thinking to areas that go beyond the conventional one. OMA is led by nine partners – Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, David Gianotten, Chris van Duijn, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Jason Long – and has offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong, Doha, Dubai and Perth. Among OMA’s currently-under construction buildings, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, the Qatar National Library, the Qatar Foundation’s headquarters, and a new headquarters for the Axel Springer publishing group in Berlin. Recently completed buildings include the Faena District in Miami, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice, the Design Museum and Holland Green apartments in London, and a new building for the National Museum of Fine Arts in Quebec Quebec].

Cities that previously hosted Manifesta
Manifesto 1, Rotterdam (The Netherlands, 1996)
Manifesto 2, Luxembourg (Luxembourg, 1998)
Manifesta 3, Ljubljana (Slovenia, 2000)
Manifesto 4, Frankfurt (Germany, 2002)
Manifesta 5, Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain, 2004)
Manifesto 6, Nicosia (Cyprus, 2006 – canceled)
Manifesta 7, Trentino-Alto Adige (Italy, 2008)
Manifesta 8, Murcia – Cartagena (Spain, 2010)
Manifesta 9, Genk-Limburg (Belgium, 2012)
Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg (Russia, 2014)
Manifesta 11, Zurich (Switzerland, 2016)

For more information about Manifesta, please contact
Manifesto Head Office
Herengracht 474, 1017CA Amsterdam
Referent: Asell Yusupova
Phone: +31 20 672 14 35

Manifesta Foundation 12 Palermo
Via della Vetriera 26/28, 90133 Palermo
Referent: Francesca Verga
Tel. +39 091 8437863.

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