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 are in the centre of this symposium. What are the origins of the theories underpinning the last four documentas and how do we evaluate them today? Which modes of thinking are actually compatible with the exhibition format? And how are the global aspirations of the exhibitions realised? These and further questions 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.
With documenta X, documenta set off on a new course – trying to design and propose new formats for a cultural event supposed to present in a meaningful way the diversity, complexity and heterogeneity of contemporary esthetical practices, and their eventual genealogy in the recent past. Looking at artistic and curatorial practice in contemporary China, the panel will question the reception and circulation of the set of methodologies put forward by dX in non-western contexts.
Documenta11 continued the socio-theoretical and historical approach taken by documenta X, but set out to expand its geopolitical horizon, questioning the political, cultural and ethical meaning of art in a newly emerging world order. How can one today describe this exhibition’s thought-style (Denkstil), which read culture as a locus of translation, fracture, and dissonance?
documenta 12 located itself within postcolonial discourse with respect to its focus on heterogeneous, non-western modernities, bringing to the centre questions of form and presentation; and the idea that forms have meaning, beyond the borders of culture and epoch. The panel will discuss the exhibition as a space where forms exist in a state of constant transformation and the concomitant pluralisation of the possibilities of art to move in space and time.
dOCUMENTA (13) ushered in a general shift from critical to speculative thought, informed by feminist as well as ecological concerns. The exhibition sought to destabilize the categories that have differentiated people, animals, and things since the modern era, interlinked with an acknowledgment or grasp of the ability to act that in turn called for a broader understanding of agency. The panel will discuss how compatible these feminist-ecological thought-styles are with the exhibition format.
Introductions and moderation
Dorothea von Hantelmann, Michael Lüthy
The symposium is held in English with simultaneous translation into German.
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
Du-Ry-Str. 1 / am Friedrichsplatz