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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Germany

KASSEL  •  Kunsthalle Fridericianum and other galleries  •  Ongoing
Held every five years, the Documenta is one of the most important events for contemporary visual arts worldwide. The first Documenta, created by Kassel painter and academy professor Arnold Bode in 1955, was an unexpected success. The exhibition, which was launched as the accompanying program to the Bundesgartenschau (German Federal Horticultural Show) that was held in Kassel that year, took an historical and documentary/reconstructive approach. It showed the development of the major artistic groups since the beginning of the century: Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Blauer Reiter, Futurism, Pittura Metafisica etc.---art which had been banned and defamed as degenerate by the Nazis. In total, 570 works by 148 artists from six different countries were showcased, and pre-War Modernism was deliberately displayed in all its European ramifications. Bode highlighted the works in the ruins of the Museums Fridericianum, today still the main building for the Documenta, whose provisional premises he outfitted with what at the time were considered extremely modern materials (such as plasterboard and PVC curtains).

From 8 June until 15 September 2002 Documenta11 will take place in several exhibition spaces in Kassel. Projects and works of more than 100 international artists of every generation will be presented. The exhibition includes work in all media: sculpture and drawing, photography and architecture, film, video, sound- and internetworks, performance and concert.

Each Documenta bears the very personal imprint of its curator´s ideas and personal concepts, thereby becoming not only a forum for current tendencies in contemporary art, but also an opportunity for the realisation of innovative and standard-setting new exhibition concepts. Born in Nigeria, Okwui Enwezor, is the Artistic Director and guest curator of Documenta11. Most recently Enwezor was responsable for the excellent Short Century exhibition of post-1945 African art in Munich, Berlin, Chicago and at PS1 in New York. In addition, he was the Artistic director of the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale, 1997. He is the publisher and founding editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, a critical art journal co-published with the African Studies Center at Cornell University. A poet, critic, and curator, Enwezor has written extensively on contemporary African art and artists, as well as on American and international art and artists. His recent essays have appeared in numerous international exhibition catalogues and books, including Future, Present, Past (47th Venice Biennale). Inklusion Exklusion (Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria). Transforming the Crown (Studio Museum in Harlem and Bronx Museum). Contemporary South African Art: Gencor Collection (Jonathan Ball Publishers, Johannesburg).

Documenta11 Web Site

Contact: Tel: (49) 180 511 56 11

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