the european biennial of contemporary art
manifesta 7 logo






Situated on one of Europe’s most important travel routes, between Bolzano/Bozen and the Brenner pass, the fortress Fortezza/Franzensfeste will serve as one of Manifesta 7’s venues. It was built in the 1830s by the Habsburgian Empire in order to defend the north/south passage through the Dolomite mountain region from two sides. Shaped and ruled by changing military scenarios, which mostly remained imaginary, since the fortress has never witnessed battle, the site itself constitutes the basis for formulating the artistic context of the exhibition by Manifesta 7.
The project entitled Scenarios aims to transform the spectacular backdrop of Fortezza/Franzensfeste into a scripted space with voice recordings, text, light and landscape in order to alter our idea of how imaginary scenarios shape our understanding of past and future, circumstance and possibility. Scenarios will be an ‘immaterial’ exhibition, that attempts to shift the site of the exhibition to the imagination of the listening visitor. Writers from all over the world contribute texts to Scenarios, especially developed for this context. These texts reflect the processes of scenario production and imaginative possibility itself. As voice recordings, the texts are individually installed as sound works in the repetitive interior spaces of the fortress, in an architectural setting characterised by the absence of its historical users and the scenarios they were once part of.
Scenarios is a critical reflection of the role that scenarios occupy in our society and the individual or collective imaginary. Today, though often unconscious or involuntary, we are part of “scenarios” that have already been projected on and framed us, preconceived our presence, and conditioning the situations and experiences of everyday life. The project aims to make us reflect on how we come to complete the scenarios and stories by becoming part of them. As an exhibition project, Scenarios thus shows no (or little) images, but rather reflects on those already we carry with us, that are imposed on us, or which creative imagination brings about. It is meant to explicitly break with the regime of visibility, and the production of (material) evidence.
Adam Budak, Anselm Franke/Hila Peleg, Raqs Media Collective
Dramaturgy by Ant Hampton, Audio Design by Hannes Hoelzl, Furniture Design by Martino Gamper
Shahid Amin, Hélène Binet, Brave New Alps, Adriana Cavarero, Mladen Dolar, Harun Farocki, Karø Goldt, Larry Gottheim, Renée Green, Timo Kahlen, Karl Kels, Thomas Meinecke, Glen Neath, Margareth Obexer, Philippe Rahm, Arundhati Roy, Saskia Sassen, Michael Snow, Saadi Yousef