Pack your bags! Join travel expert, Turon’s Nicholas Christopher, at Documenta 14
DOCUMENTA, HELD EVERY FIVE YEARS IN KASSEL, GERMANY, ITS TRADITIONAL HOME, REPRESENTS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ART EXHIBITS IN THE WORLD FOR CONTEMPORARY ART AND IDEAS. FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN 1955, DOCUMENTA HAS TWO VENUES, THE FIRST IN ATHENS, GREECE THAT OPENED ON APRIL 18th AND THE SECOND IN KASSEL OPENING ON JUNE 10th.
HEADED BY ADAM SZYMCZYK, FORMER DIRECTOR AND CHIEF CURATOR AT THE KUNSTHALLE BASEL FROM 2003 UNTIL 2014, THIS CELEBRATED POLISH ART CRITIC AND CURATOR IS KNOWN FOR INTRODUCING RELATIVELY UNKNOWN ARTISTS INTO THE PUBLIC SECTOR. IN DOCUMENTA 14, ENTITLED “LEARNING FROM ATHENS”, HIS CURATORIAL INTENT IS TO EXPLORE BOTH CONTEMPORARY AND HISTORICAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE SOCIO-POLITICAL THEMES THAT SHAPED EUROPE THEN AND NOW: IMMIGRATION, THE FINANCIAL CRISIS, CENSORSHIP AND DISPLACEMENT. ARTISTS HAVE CREATED WORK FOR BOTH LOCATIONS AND THE CUSTOMARY 100 DAY FESTIVAL HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO SPAN 100 DAYS IN EACH OF THE TWO CITIES.
THE LRFA BLOG IS VERY PLEASED TO WELCOME BACK OUR TRAVEL EXPERT, NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER, TO SHARE THE HISTORY OF DOCUMENTA AND HIGHLIGHTS OF KASSEL AND ITS ENVIRONS WITH US. FOUNDED BY NICHOLAS, THIS YEAR TURON TRAVEL CELEBRATES ITS 38th ANNIVERSARY! TURON WORKS WITH A GROWING NUMBER OF INTERNATIONAL ART FAIRS, ART AND ANTIQUE FAIRS AND SPECIAL ART EVENTS TO CREATE A SEAMLESS PROCESS THAT BENEFITS THE EVENT PATRONS, THE EXHIBITORS AND THE VENUE.
WELCOME BACK, NICHOLAS.
Documenta takes place every 5 years in Kassel, Germany. For the 2017 edition, the theme has been expanded and it started in Athens, Greece, this April, moving on to Kassel June 10th. Calling itself the ‘museum of 100 days’, Documenta goes beyond a forum for contemporary art’s current trends displaying new innovative exhibition concepts.
Documenta Athens, curated by Adam Szymczyk, drew criticism from the local arts community for ‘Cultural Imperialism’ with Germany being a European economic power house as opposed to Greece which is still undergoing drastic austerity programs. Mr. Szymczyk feels that by presenting work in Greece, Documenta can exert influence in the arena of the European Union. “A cultural enterprise of this magnitude has power to influence politics,” he says. The Athens event ends July 10th.
Dating back to the 10th century, in the 1800s, Kassel was the capital of the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale Route. Totally rebuilt after World War II, it still has a few examples of its earlier historical sites, the 18th century Wilhelmshohe Castle being one of its more prominent landmarks.
Founded by Arnold Bode, a German architect, painter and designer, Documenta is an exhibition which displays modern and contemporary art. From its first edition in 1955, Documenta was able to establish itself as a key international rendezvous for avant-garde work. Taking place every five years, Documenta 13 was the latest exhibition and was held in 2012. Arnold Bode’s focus wanted to introduce art that was banned during the Nazi era, essentially bringing Germans up to speed with expressionism, fauvism, cubism, Blauer Reiter, Pittura Metafisica and Futurism, all of which was considered degenerate by the Regime.
The 1st edition focused on abstract art and featured the work of Kandinsky and Picasso. 130,000 people visited the exhibitions, thus establishing the show’s international credentials. Documenta features a variety of artistic mediums including, but not limited to, sculpture, performance, research, painting, film, photography and installation, as well as text-based and audio works. Moreover, it provides a platform for artists who want to experiment with new practices in the fields of literature, science, ecology, aesthetics, politics and – naturally – art.
Kassel opens to the public on June 10th and anticipates a steady stream of art enthusiasts visiting through September 17th. Most of the 160 artists that are participating will be showing in both cities and it will be interesting to see if their projects hold different gravitas within these two settings.
IN THE NEXT LRFA POST, NICHOLAS TAKES US ON A TOUR OF SOME OUTSTANDING MUSEUMS AND RECOMMENDS SOME DELICIOUS GERMAN CUISINE TO FUEL US ON OUR WAY.
PLEASE JOIN US!