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Thoughts On: Manifesta12 2018 (Part One: Becoming Garden)

Introduction
Over two separate essays, of which this is the first, I will examine two projects that were part of MANIFESTA 12 (M12), which took place in and around the city of Palermo on the island of Sicily off the south-west coast of Italy. 
The first project that I will examine is Coloco and Gilles Clément's Becoming Garden (2018), described in M12’s own literature as an installation. Becoming Garden appears to be an interventionist, action-based project addressing a deep socio-political concern within a specific community. The act or aim of transforming whole communities does not immediately appear to be within the sphere or capability of art practice. The idea that art must serve a function in the lexicon of human needs - that it must have purpose - has become an important factor applications for funding and institutional support. It can seem at times that the line between artists practising art and artists acting as social activist is increasingly blurred and this is why I dec…

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