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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 Kassel and Athens 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 anniversary celebration begins with a symbolic act honoring the official transfer of the documenta Archive currently managed by the City of Kassel to the documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH. The archive was established on the initiative of Arnold Bode in 1961. Today, it comprises one of the world’s most important special libraries devoted to the art of the 20th and 21st centuries as well as an extensive collection of valuable materials, photographs, and correspondence from all thirteen previous documenta exhibitions. Beginning in 2016, the work of the archive will continue under the supervision of the documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH, which is owned by the City of Kassel and the State of Hesse. The resulting increase in financial support to be provided for the archive in the future will serve to enhance and underscore the international stature of this unique scholarly institution.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
The Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers (1924–1976) is one of the most significant representatives of the art of the 20th and 21st centuries, as evidenced not least of all by the presentation of his art at four documenta exhibitions (documenta 5, 6, 7 and documenta X). On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the documenta, the Fridericianum is pleased to present an extensive survey exhibition of Broodthaers’s works from all of his creative periods. The exhibition features his first piece, Pense-Bête (1964), numerous sculptural works, five sections of his Musée d’Art Moderne, Département des Aigles (1968–1972), and the rooms entitled Un Jardin d’Hiver II (1974), Salle Blanche (1975), and Décor, A Conquest (1975).
Having begun as a writer, Marcel Broodthaers decided to become a visual artist in 1964. From the outset, he posed fundamental questions about visual art and forms of demonstration, presentation, and representation. In the process he questioned the fundamental mechanisms involved in the social production of meaning and departed from the supposedly universal validity of existing orders of knowledge. 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 clearly visible, assumes striking explosive power and relevance.
Curated by Susanne Pfeffer
Exhibition opening: July 16, 2015
Duration of the exhibition: July 17 to October 11, 2015
Friday, July 17, 2015 and Saturday, July 18, 2015
documenta 1997–2017: erweiterte Denkkollektive / expanding thought-collectives
Catherine David (documenta X, 1997)
Okwui Enwezor (Documenta11, 2002)
Roger M. Buergel and Ruth Noack (documenta 12, 2007)
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (dOCUMENTA (13), 2012)
Adam Szymczyk (documenta 14, 2017)
The notion of what a documenta exhibition can be and what it should accomplish has changed considerably over the past twenty years. Art exhibitions have evolved into a global format that aims not only to present art, but also to communicate the most recent theories and conceptual models to an increasingly international public. This development and the questions and issues it raises will be the focus of attention during the two-day symposium. They will be discussed by the artistic directors of the past four documenta exhibitions and the artistic director of the upcoming documenta 14 in dialogue with international guests from the fields of art, science and theory. What were the underlying theoretical concepts for the last four documenta exhibitions, and how are they assessed today? How do these exhibitions realize their global orientation? What new ideas about the world do they convey? Subsequent to the public symposium a workshop for students at German universities will be held at the School of Art and Design Kassel.
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
Friday, July 17, 2015 – Thursday, July 23, 2015
Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmuş: Public Collection of Modern Art
The recent work by Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmuş Public Collection of Modern Art (2014) proposes a subjective, non-exhaustive overview of Modern Art through the use of enactment. It is an attempt to claim history, to de-scale, de-monumentalize but also actualize and re-contextualize significant artworks and events from the history of modernity using only a few human bodies. Initially commissioned by the Van Abbemuseum for the Confessions of the Imperfect, 1848 – 1989 – Today exhibition, the work’s presentation in this context attempts a dialogue between the history of discourses and important moments of modernity and the history of the documenta exhibitions and their initial historical intention.
The format of the work, even though immaterial, is that of an ongoing action-exhibition and relies on the same convention as any display of material objects. It thus reflects on questions of immaterial production and its economy in museum and gallery space as well as on the very notion of a permanent material collection that is traditionally seen as the corner-stone of the museum as an institution.
An event by the documenta Archive of the City of Kassel
Friday, July 17, 2015
M.A. Numminen and defunensemble: Verliebte Philosophen
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). He previously presented a philosophically inspired music program under the title Wittgenstein Compositions in collaboration with defunensemble in Kassel in 2012.
Composed in 2010, his Verliebte Philosophen forges yet another link between music and philosophy. 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, soprano) and Heidegger (Herman Wallén, baritone). M.A. Numminen 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. The music itself tracks the ups and downs of their relationship.
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
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Kassel has planned a grand festival for all visitors to the documenta city under the patronage of Lord Mayor Bertram Hilgen. Numerous art and cultural institutions, individual performers, and international guests are putting together a program devoted to recounting and celebrating the 60-year history of the documenta in exhibitions, films, performances, discussions, readings, and tours conceived specifically for the festival. The festival will open at the Unterer Friedrichsplatz, and tours will embark from there to the various event sites in the city throughout the day. An open-air concert at the Friedrichsplatz in the evening of July 19, 2015 will bring the festival and the week of events in honor of the 60th anniversary of the documenta to a close.
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
Exhibition: 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
For questions regarding the Fridericianum and 60 Years of documenta
Press and Communication
Fridericianum/60 Years of documenta
+49 561 70727-89
For questions regarding documenta 14
Head of Communications documenta 14
+49 561 70727-6108
For questions regarding the documenta Archive and the City of Kassel
City of Kassel
Press and Communication
+49 561 787-1233
Program of the celebrations of the
60th anniversary of the documenta
16 - 19 July 2015
>> Official website
60 Years of documenta – Program
History of the Documenta
Brief overview on all the Documenta
editions since the start in 1955
Documenta 13, 2012
Extensive coverage of the last edition
by UiU, presenting works by
90 participants at 13 venues