"The history of the documenta is a history of defeats, of doubts, of scandals and, at the same time, of renewal, of discovery and of artistic creativity. Above all, however, it has always been a history of success..."

Michael Glasmeier and Karin Stengel
07 – Jun – 2012

Every three years for 100 days, the quaint German town of Kassel is subsumed by contemporary art and its denizens, when it hosts Documenta, one of the world's biggest, longest and most significant art exhibitions. Vernissage TV captured this preview footage of the 13th edition, which officially opens tomorrow, not only filling 30 venues in Kassel but also including exhibitions in Kabul, Cairo and at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, making it easily the most international Documenta to date.

This year's artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev has said that she doesn't have a concept, and the list of participants is fittingly all over the map. It includes more than 150 contemporary artists from 55 different countries, in addition to deceased artists (Man Ray, Salvador Dali), cultural theorists (Judith Butler, Donna Harraway, Christoph Menke), curators and scientists. Among the artists are the Canadian pair Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, German artist Rosemarie Trockel and South-African painter and cinematographic artist William Kentridge.

Documenta dates back to 1955 when teacher and curator Arnold Bode organized an exhibition of modern art in his home town, Kassel, as part of the effort to repair the damage caused by World War II. It was so successful, it became a regular event.

Don't feel like staying the night in Kassel? The Deutsche Bahn's ICE 12 can whisk you back to Berlin or Frankfurt.


C. Wilder



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