Politismos eMagazine | documenta


Τhe “documenta 14” art exhibition, presenting an innovative perspective on contemporary art and hosted throughout the city in various indoor and open-air spaces, is ready to welcome art enthusiasts to Athens.

Founded by the artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode in 1955, the festival was as an attempt to bring Germany up to speed with modern art, while both banishing and repressing the cultural darkness of Nazism. This year’s event, documenta 14 – after three years of preparation – will be held simultaneously in Athens, Greece (8 April – 16 July) and Kassel, Germany (10 June – 17 September).

It is also the first time that Germany’s most renowned and most debated international exhibition of contemporary arts leaves home. The exhibition will occur in both countries, with artists’ works in both locations. For Greece, all around the city of Athens, in more than 40 different public institutions, squares, cinemas, campuses and libraries, more than 160 artists from around the world will present their new works in documenta 14.

The Greek National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) is the largest exhibition venue and one of the exhibition’s most important joint partners. The Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Athens School of Fine Arts are also among the 40 venues.

EMST hosts one of the most impressive works of art, hanging from the roof of the high-ceiling of the museum’s hall. It is Cecilia Vicuña’s monumental piece entitled “History of the red thread”. It is a “soft sculpture” from raw wool strips, painted in scarlet color honoring a religious tradition that links the Andean deities with ancient Greek maritime mythology.

The exhibition’s curator Adam Szymczyk made the decision for the joint event, Athens and Kassel, back in 2014. The concept was to use culture to draw attention to the Greek crisis. Hence the title for documenta 14 “Learning from Athens.”

Adam Szymczyk added that the exhibition “emphasizes an idea of active exchange” and is an ongoing process that “would ideally produce knowledge about conditions within and far beyond Athens, conditions that are themselves constantly evolving.”

Working together with partner institutions, documenta 14 points to a public sphere that is non-exclusionary and defined by various encounters and possibilities in space and time.

Included in document 14 is the much-anticipated Aboubakar Fofana installation, which will place a herd of blue sheep sculptures in the Faculty of Agriculture Garden, on April 29. Additionally, the Athens Conservatory is definitely worth visiting, as they will host an exhibition articulated around the pioneering work of great Greek composer Yannis Christou. The theoretical core of the exhibition includes works related indirectly to his creative principles.

Many venues have free entrance to the public (excluding the Benaki Museum, Ghikas Gallery, and Numismatic Museum).

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Photographs courtesy of document 14 and Stathis Mamalakis, Mathias Voelzke, Freddie Faulkenberry, Angelos Giotopoulos and Yiannis Hadjiaslanis

15 Apr 2017, by Nektaria Karakosta in Arts & Culturex