The title of the current publication reveals the various connotations of scale present in Manna’s practice. Included in this book are stills from the film Wild Relatives (2018), a meditative documentary capturing the transit of seeds between the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway and the fields of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Alongside the film are two installations that question archival practices and plant taxonomy (Cache [Insurance Policy], 2018; and Post Herbarium, 2016). The remaining two installations present the fragmented body in relation to its location (Adrenarchy, 2018; and The Contractor’s Heel, 2016).
Ana María Bresciani writes about Manna’s investigations into scale and her focus on the migration of agricultural practices, regional cultures and botanical species. Manna and the agronomist Salvatore Ceccarelli discuss the sharing of agricultural heritage and the safeguarding of the earth’s vital resources as well as the cultural importance of groups that are tasked with managing and securing the biological diversity of their respective localities. An essay by curator Ruba Katrib considers Manna’s inquiry into cultural stability with regard to the ancient cultures of the Levantine, and the reigning external-environmental and social forces responsible for creating a stable culture.
About the Artist
Jumana Manna is a visual artist working primarily with film and sculpture. Her work explores how power is articulated through relationships, often focusing on the body and materiality in relation to narratives of nationalism and histories of place.
Manna’s film Wild Relatives, which touches on the complex and long-ranging effects of the war in Syria, was screened at Jameel Arts Centre from November 11 to December 8, 2018.
About the Publisher
Sternberg Press is a Berlin-based publishing house of art, cultural criticism, creative nonfiction and literary and experimental fiction. Founded by Caroline Schneider in New York in 1999, it aims to support both new and established writers and nourish lasting editorial relationships. The press is committed to publishing books with an interdisciplinary focus on contemporary visual culture and related critical discourse.