Founded by Arnold Bode, the documenta opened in Kassel for the first time on July 15, 1955, and thirteen editions of the documenta have been presented since then. Preparations for the documenta 14 are currently in progress, and the exhibition is scheduled to open in Athens and Kassel in 2017. The 60th anniversary of the documenta, which is now regarded as the most important exhibition of contemporary art in the world, will be celebrated with an impressive program of accompanying events:
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Official transfer of the documenta Archive
The documenta Archive was founded by the City of Kassel on the initiative of Arnold Bode in 1961. Today, the Archive houses a library on the art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and maintains a collection of valuable documents, photographs, and correspondence relating to all previous documenta exhibitions, extensive press documentation, and a progressively growing media archive. The legacies of Arnold Bode, Hans Hillmann, and Harry Kramer, as well as the archival material bequeathed by Floris M. Neusüss, are now held at the documenta Archive.
The documenta Archive will be officially entrusted to the documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH in a symbolic ceremony on July 15, 2015. The goal is to enhance the international significance of this unique institution and to develop it further in cooperation with the University of Kassel over the course of the years to come.
Magistratssaal, Rathaus der Stadt Kassel, Obere Königsstraße 8, 34117 Kassel
Thursday, July 16, 2015 6 -8pm
July 17 to October 11, 2015
“Fiction enables us to grasp reality and at the same time that which is veiled by reality.” – Marcel Broodthaers
In 1964 the writer Marcel Broodthaers decided to become a visual artist. Yet he retained an avid interest in language, its systems of meaning, and its poetry, which became integral components of his art. Maintaining a distance to the art scene, Broodthaers raised fundamental questions about art—about its media, about how the artwork is defined, and about its representation in museums. His works playfully resist definitive art-historical classification and his oeuvre still stands as a persistent critique of the commercializing strategies of the art market today.
Influenced by the anti-authoritarian discourses of the 1960s, Broodthaers’ art is by no means divorced from the political dimensions of reality. He undertook a critical examination of the practices of collecting, archiving, and display, questioning the power of the institution to define and exposing the museum itself as a representational and ideological authority.
Broodthaers’ criticism is grounded in a probing investigation of the ordering systems of everyday life, the mechanisms involved in the production of meaning, and their place within a collective cultural memory. Extracting images, objects, words, and actions from their established contexts, the artist engendered a sense of uncertainty in which the contrast between the reality of visual images and the reality they depict becomes clearly visible. He revealed the agency of objects, which transcend our ability to grasp them through language, and emphasized the puzzling play of language itself, employing words as both visualized ideas and literal material. In an age characterized by our faith in the capacity of visual images to explain scientific and political phenomena, the oeuvre of Marcel Broodthaers, in which the unspoken dissonance of images, words, and meanings becomes apparent, assumes immense power and relevance.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of documenta, the Fridericianum is presenting a major survey exhibition featuring works from all of the artist’s creative periods. The exhibition encompasses early sculptures, films, slide projections, prints, and drawings as well as the Section Publicité of the Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles (1972), Un Jardin d’Hiver II (1974), Salle Blanche (1975) and Décor, A Conquest (1975).
Fridericianum, Friedrichsplatz 18, 34117 Kassel
Friday, July 17, 2015 and Saturday, July 18, 2015
documenta 1997 – 2017:
erweiterte Denkkollektive /expanding thought-collectives
Carmen Amor, Karen Barad, Beatrice von Bismarck, Kristina Buch, Roger M. Buergel, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Catherine David, Okwui Enwezor, Peter Galison, David Joselit, Hiwa K, Lu Jie, Michael Lüthy, Sarat Maharaj, Oliver Marchart, Laura Zheng Ning, Ruth Noack, Nikos Papastergiadis, Griselda Pollock, Tino Sehgal, Raqs Media Collective/Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Adam Szymczyk, Wang Jianwei
The notion of what a contemporary art exhibition can and should be has fundamentally changed over the past twenty years. Exhibitions have evolved into a format that aims not only to present art, but also to communicate current thinking and theories to an increasingly global public. Each documenta is an occasion and opportunity for bringing specific modes of thinking, along with concurrent values and world-views, from their sites of production (e.g. academia) into society. These developments and the adjacent questions and problems posed will be discussed with the Artistic Directors of the past four editions of documenta and the Artistic Director of the upcoming documenta 14 in dialogue with international guests from the fields of art, academia and theory.
The symposium is held in English with simultaneous translation into German. Free admission
Please register in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Conceived by Dorothea von Hantelmann, documenta visiting professor at the School of Art and Design Kassel
An event by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the School of Art and Design Kassel
documenta Halle, Du-Ry-Str. 1 / am Friedrichsplatz, 34117 Kassel
Friday, July 17, 2015 – Thursday, July 23, 2015
Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmu?: Public Collection of Modern Art
Public Collection of Modern Art (2014), the recent work by Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmu?, aims to offer a subjective, non-exhaustive overview of modern art and modernity’s extension into the present–referencing excerpts from Donna Haraway?s “A Cyborg Manifesto” (1983) and recent discourses on accelerationism. The artists depart from the art-historical classification of modern art and approach it instead as a source of impulses for a continuous series of discourses whose influence on contemporary art proceeds unabated. Using only a few human bodies, Public Collection of Modern Art traces the significant works and events of the modern period and their resonance in the present. It attempts to appropriate history by taking the works down from their pedestals and de-monumentalizing them, while actualizing and re-contextualizing them at the same time. Moving away from the concept of one-time or temporary performance, this ongoing action by Pirici and Pelmu? is deliberately conceived as a repeatable presentation.
The work was originally commissioned by the Van Abbemuseum for the exhibition entitled Confessions of the Imperfect, 1848 – 1989 – Today. In the present context, Pirici and Pelmu? seek to initiate dialogue between the historical discourses and significant moments of modernity, on the one hand, and the history of the documenta exhibitions, including their initial historical intentions, on the other. Thus Public Collection of Modern Art is concerned with, among other artists, Max Beckmann, whose oeuvre was defamed under National Socialist rule as “degenerate.” Beckmann was prominently presented in Germany for the first time at the documenta in 1955—at a point at which, in light of the recent historical developments, documenta took it upon itself to revive public awareness of the modern avant-garde. Another, more recent focal point is the Office of Direct Democracy, in which Josef Beuys invited visitors to documenta 5 to engage in discussion.
Despite its “immaterial” character, the format of Public Collection of Modern Art is that of an ongoing, action-laden exhibition based on the same conventions as any museum presentation of material objects. It raises questions about both the economics of immaterial production in museums and galleries and the very notion of a material collection that is traditionally seen as a cornerstone of the museum as institution.
An event by the documenta Archive of the City of Kassel
Fridericianum, Friedrichsplatz 18, 34117 Kassel
Friday, July 17, 2015, 22.00
M.A. Numminen and defunensemble:
Kulturhaus Dock 4
In conjunction with the documenta anniversary celebration, the cantata entitled Verliebte Philosophen by the Finnish artist, composer, and singer M.A. Numminen will be presented for the first time in Germany in a new, augmented arrangement. Numminen, well-known since the 1960s for his eclectic interests in such fields as philosophy, sociology, and linguistics as well as various musical styles, including jazz, classical and electronic music, tango, and new music, participated in dOCUMENTA (13). Composed in 2010, his Verliebte Philosophen forges yet another link between music and philosophy. Moderated by M.A. Numminen, the work deals with the complicated relationship between Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger. Major passages in the libretto were compiled from correspondence between Arendt (Ida Wallén, mezzo-soprano) and Heidegger (Herman Wallén, tenor). Burkhard von Puttkamer (baritone) serves as the narrator who embeds excerpts from letters relating to the couple’s first meeting in Marburg in 1925, Hannah Arendt’s emigration from Germany, Martin Heidegger’s admission to membership in the NSDAP in 1933, and their reunion after the war in a temporal framework.
Tickets: 18 Euro, reduced 10 Euro
Reservations: email@example.com, T:+49 561 707270
Advanced bookings: Office of documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH, Friedrichsplatz 18, 34117 Kassel, Mon–Thu, 9.00–16.00
Box office at the venue
An event by the German Federal Cultural Foundation in cooperation with the documenta Archive, with the kind support of the Kulturhaus Dock 4 under the auspices of the City of Kassel
Kulturhaus Dock 4, Untere Karlsstraße 4, 34117 Kassel
Sunday, July 19, 2015
documenta Anniversary Celebration
documenta celebrates its 60th birthday in 2015. In honor of this milestone anniversary, a big birthday party will be held in Kassel under the patronage of Lord Mayor Bertram Hilgen on 19 July.
29 art and cultural institutions in Kassel have joined for the first time in putting together a unique program devoted to various aspects of the colorful history of the world’s most important exhibition of contemporary art. The program comprises more than 50 events, including numerous exhibitions, film presentations, performances, discussions, readings and tours.
Over the course of the past 60 years, documenta has left an indelible imprint on the city of Kassel in many different ways. Guided tours to the remaining outdoor works of art from previous editions of documenta will enable visitors to access their complex historical meaning and experience them in context. At many of these sites, contemporaries will be on hand to share their recollections of past documenta exhibitions with visitors. The documenta Forum has invited E. R. Nele, the daughter of documenta founder Arnold Bode, art historian Professor Adrian von Buttlar, and Pitt Moog, a former master student of Arnold Bode, to participate in a panel discussion about the first documenta of 1955. The presentations at the Neue Galerie, the Naturkundemuseum, and the Kulturbahnhof will focus on works from past documenta exhibitions purchased by the City of Kassel, while the documenta Archive will draw attention to the outstanding archival materials in its collections, including materials from the estate of Arnold Bode. The program also features presentations by a number of former documenta artists—among them Ugo Dossi, Horst Hoheisel, Jürgen Klauke, and Timm Ulrichs—at many project spaces and cultural institutions throughout Kassel.
Last but not least, the Orchestra of the Staatstheater Kassel will present a grand open air summer concert featuring compositions from the 1950s and 1960s in a tribute to the founding years of documenta. After the concert, the Open-Air-Kino will show “Let’s Get Lost”, one of the favorite films of Adam Szymczyk, the Artistic Director of documenta 14. Released in 1988, Bruce Weber’s film about transience and remembrance is an “invitation to get lost together, alone” (Adam Szymczyk).
Visitors will be admitted to all events free of charge. 25 restaurateurs from Kassel and the surrounding region will offer a varied program of culinary delights at the upper Friedrichsplatz. A free shuttle bus service connecting all event locations will be provided by the KVG on 19 July.
An event by the documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH in cooperation with the City of Kassel
Unterer Friedrichsplatz and numerous other locations in the city
October 30, 2015 to February 14, 2016
UTOPIEdocumenta – Unrealized Projects from the History of the World Art Exhibition
Focusing on a previously unexplored dimension of documenta history, the UTOPIEdocumenta exhibition takes a serious look at the “unfinished” as a genre of art in its own right. The documenta has gained international acclaim not only for the works acquired on loan from all over the world, but most notably for art projects developed exclusively for each documenta exhibition. Some of these projects were never or only partially realized due to technical or organizational constraints. The exhibition presents the wide range of media in which plans for these projects materialized. Conceptual drafts, sketches, models, and plans by such artists as Wolf Vostell (documenta 6) or George Trakas (documenta 8), by artists’ groups, including Archigram (documenta 5), Coop Himmelb(l)au (documenta 5), and Haus-Rucker-Co (documenta 6), and by documenta founder Arnold Bode document the utopian potential of the world art exhibition in Kassel.
Curated by Harald Kimpel
An event by the Culture Office of the City of Kassel
Stadtmuseum Kassel, Ständeplatz 16, 34117 Kassel