The top floor of the crumbling art deco industrial building is filled with contemporary artworks that address de-industrialization and post-industrialization. As you can expect, many of the works come with a sense of doom similar to the one experienced by local communities when the mine closed in 1987. The artists selected for the biennial confront issues such as the dematerialisation of production, new forms of labor, the loss or transformation of social ideologies, the challenges of creating energy, counterfeit luxury goods and the parallel economy it generates, etc.
Genk is a city almost entirely devoid of any grace but it is also the site of the 9th edition of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art. And who needs grace and glamour when you have an exhibition as sensational as as the one that Cuauhtémoc Medina curated in a disused coal mine at the outskirt of the city?
Free ice cream made to taste like memory and spectacle, giant helium-filled balloons that makes you feel 35 kg lighter and an hypnotizing performance on ice
Even if they are made of wood and paint matrioskas can suffer the effects of radiation
A robot engraves a habitat for fungi while a team of architectural conservators trap dust and dirt in latex in order to preserve and display it like a precious shroud