From nation state to border state: Exhibiting Europe

Nuit Banai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article's central claim is that a paradigm shift occurred in the intertwining of aesthetic practices, the discursive, and the institutional mechanisms of legitimization and display in the European public sphere from the postwar to the present. More specifically, it foregrounds the problem of Europe as it materialized within the modernist rubric of the nation state with Documenta (established 1955) in Germany and the Biennale de Paris (established 1959) in France and in relation to processes of globalization with the peripatetic exhibition Manifesta: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art (established 1996). If postwar cultural initiatives elaborated and exhibited Europe as a collection of nation states, the nomadic imperative of Manifesta crystallizes and contributes to the collective imagination of Europe and its demos as a permanent experience of the border. Moving from nation state to border state is thus not so much a fully concretized or accomplished political or economic reality as an exhibited cultural proposal for novel iterations of Europe and its publics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-469
Number of pages14
JournalThird Text
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

User-Defined Keywords

  • Documenta
  • Biennale de Paris
  • Manifesta: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art
  • André Malraux
  • Raymond Cogniat
  • Arnold Bode
  • Werner Haftmann
  • European Community
  • European Union
  • border demos


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