Topic: Nicosia For Art breaks off settlement.. or do they?
It is interesting that it is not how much this release is saying but more about how much it is hiding.
Let us see
Although Manifesta Foundation had hoped that the issues surrounding Manifesta 6 would have been adequately resolved and Manifesta Foundation has been doing its utmost best to adequately address these issues before formally announcing and starting Manifesta 7, recent developments changed and blocked this all. Yesterday Manifesta Foundation received the response from Nicosia for Art that the board of Nicosia for Art refuses to conclude, and finalize the details of, the settlement on which parties reached a basic agreement earlier (which agreement was also advocated by the President of the Rotterdam District court).
Would this be another "no" from the evil Greek Cypriots? Or would it be that the court did not find an acceptable solution for both parties but instead, a solution which was acceptable by the IFM?
Manifesta understands that the mere reason for Nicosia for Art and its board breaking off the settlement is that local elections will take place in Nicosia in November this year. Apparently political motives are of overriding concern to Nicosia for Art and its board rather than working on amicable solutions.
Yes politics, which is one of the major factors which govern all democratic societies should be an overriding concern over art issues. When the curators screamed for artistic freedom they were talking politics. Maybe for IFM politics should be democratic as long as it favours them.
Until date both Manifesta Foundation and the curators have been doing their utmost best to come to a solution with Nicosia for Art and have tried to avoid any communications which could have the effect of jeopardizing the settlement process whilst at the same time giving such information which was considered appropriate.
Now let us see.
1. A press conference in Basel so as to discredit the Cyprus case
2. Interviews in freeze
3. an article in art forum
4. The department 3 site
5. the list goes on
It has been very dissatisfying for Manifesta to have experienced that Nicosia for Art has not lived-up to the agreements between the parties. The involvement of a former key player of Manifesta 6 in the program of Fundamenta 6 on Cyprus and the dissemination of confidential information clearly violated and frustrated the settlement. Manifesta appreciates that the media and artistic community as well as others may have many questions and queries with respect to Manifesta 6. Most important is that Manifesta and Nicosia for Art have agreed (and this has been laid down in contracts) and committed themselves to the Cypriot community that Manifesta 6 would be bi-communal in all aspects and would always take place on both sides of the Green Line in Nicosia.
Fundamenta 6, a small event at Artos Foundation which although well attended had no real impact. Yiannis Toumazis, the former key player of Manifesta 6 gave a talk on Art of Politics.
Should we compare this with United Nations Plaza? An event which was highly publicised and attended, whose participants were from the art and theory establishment and included a paper by Boris Groys entitled The Fate of Art in the Age of Terror
Academia Fundamenta was founded in 1998 and the fact that this year was held in Cyprus probably had to do with the Manifesta cancellation. United Nations Plaza was a direct product of the Manifesta 6 cancellation. Academia Fundamenta was the initiator of the event.
From all the Fundamenta participants only one was involved with Manifesta: Yiannis Toumazis.
United Nations Plaza was initiated by another former key player of Manifesta 6 Anton Vidokle.
From the UNP participants Anton Vidokle, Jalal Toufic, Liam Gillick, Boris Groys, Walid Raad, Martha Rosler, Mete Hatay, Haris Pellapaisiotis, Julieta Aranda, Tirdad Zolghadr were involved with the M6 organisation. That was a quick scan. Correct me if there are more:)
Obviously Manifesta has been working up to a situation in which both the artistic and intellectual freedom as well as integrity of the curators and artists involved in the project would be preserved whilst at the same time incorporate clear understanding of sensitivities and complexities which for thirty years have been and remain a reality in the Cypriot community. It was therefore that Manifesta particularly welcomed the idea that one of the departments of the Manifesta 6 school would be situated in the northern part of Nicosia and - as explicitly proposed - by way of full duplicate in the southern part.
This is NEW!!! A duplicate department in the South? I seem to remember that there were three departments proposed: one in the north and two in the south. Are we talking about 4 departments now? Somebody clarify this for me!!!
Unfortunately, none of the creative solutions have led to the realization of Manifesta 6, much to the regret of Manifesta. On the contrary, rather than trying to reach solutions Nicosia For Art is pursuing its claims against both curators and Manifesta even trying to paralyze their artistic activities and financial position.
creative solutions... Would this entail the human rights violations regarding the establishment of a school in a territory not recognised by the United Nations? You would need a more creative solution to pull this off.
A note regarding the Department 3 Forum
What is up with them? All they do is republish press releases. If they wanted to do that, they could just do it in a blog. A forum is where discussion takes place. I am yet to have anything answered by them. They are there not to discuss but to discredit. They are so transparent I just can't believe it.