The versatile digital artist studied media art at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, performance art and singing at the American Institute of Music Vienna and at the Centro Professione Musica in Milan. She creates video installations for exhibitions, theaters and opera stages such as the Bavarian State Opera, the Junge Oper Stuttgart, the Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich, the ETA Hoffmann Theater Bamberg and in cooperation with an international, contemporary dance and theater scene. During documenta14 in Athens in 2017 she developed BELOVED! and was represented in the same year at the Venice Biennale.
Exemplary productions by Manuela Hartel: Rites de passage (2012), Set Fire to Flames (2015), No Weapon Formed Against Me Shall Prosper (2016), BELOVED! (2017), EMBRACE (2018), DO ENTER DO EXIT (2019) and What’s it all about? (2019) Her performances and video works have been shown worldwide since 2003 in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beirut, Palermo, Skopje, Locarno, Zurich, Salzburg and Munich. She directs her video music performances in interaction with various locations like churches, ruins or nature, which she expands and transforms through video mapping – as she does since several years at the ECHOLOT Festival at Castle Kempfenhausen.
She conceptualized the performance/exhibition “appearance/disappearance” especially for the festival in 2019. On stage, she herself works as a performer with voice and text, integrated into her stage design and into the images of her video projections. It is supported by musicians and composers of new and electronic music. Her latest work, the performance DO ENTER DO EXIT with lebanese music producer Fadi Tabbal, was embedded through videomapping onto an old lime factory skeleton and developed for the MACAM Biennale 2019 in Lebanon. She currently works on video portraits of church community members as an Artist in Residence near Nuremberg.
The artist has been living and working in Munich for many years. At the same time, the venue of the ECHOLOT Festival is also home to her art: her studio has been there at the lake of Starnberg since 2016.