Hedwig Fijen studied History and History of Art at the University of Amsterdam. She is founding director of Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary art, since its origin in Rotterdam in 1993. Under Fijen’s direction Manifesta has developed into the fourth most influential biennial in the world. Over this period, Fijen has vastly expanded Manifesta’s operations with theoretical and educational projects including the Manifesta Journal, Manifesta Publications and the Manifesta Coffee breaks.
Ms. Fijen oversees all aspects of the Manifesta organization including the selection of Host cities, thematic content and the curatorial selection. The final execution of the concept of the curators is her responsibility. Before Manifesta, Fijen worked as a curator at The Netherlands Office for Fine Arts and has worked in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, Cuba and many other countries. She has lectured extensively and wrote many articles in the context of Manifesta as a biennial. Hedwig Fijen is currently working on concurrent editions of the Manifesta Biennial: Manifesta 13, to be hosted in the city of Marseille in 2020, and Manifesta 14, to be hosted in Pristina, Kosovo in 2022.