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Transgressing the borders: Manifesta European Biennial and its new public in Russia

The paper examines social features and cultural profile of the audience of Manifesta 10, first global scaled art-event ever hold in St. Petersburg and Russia as well. Based on the empirical study of 400 formalized interviews with biennale visitors (July-September 2014), this paper compares the audience of Manifesta 10 with visitors of European art-events, firstly previous edition of Manifesta. Despite the democratization of the field of contemporary art (including the elimination of the financial barrier to access to the exhibition), the research shows that the majority of visitors are people with higher education and income slightly exceeding national average. The significant differences were found also: Russian audience is biased towards younger visitors (more than 70% is younger than 35) and gender misbalanced. The study also shows the differences between the patterns of art-tourism in Russia and Europe:  European event attracts larger flows from neighboring regions, in Russia there is a long tail: small groups from many distant locations.