I have recently returned from Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany. This is an arts festival that only happens once every 5 years. This year was curated under Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev's Artistic Direction. Here's the blurb about this years Documenta >
dOCUMENTA (13) is dedicated to artistic research and forms of imagination that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated to, theory. These are terrains where politics are inseparable from a sensual, energetic, and worldly alliance between current research in various scientific and artistic fields and other knowledges, both ancient and contemporary. dOCUMENTA (13) is driven by a holistic and non-logocentric vision that is skeptical of the persisting belief in economic growth. This vision is shared with, and recognizes, the shapes and practices of knowing of all the animate and inanimate makers of the world, including people. (C. Christov-Bakargiev)
And here are my favourite picks from my first of two days wondering around Documenta.
First up, Ryan Gander's 'I Need Some Meaning I Can Memorise (The Invisible Pull)' 2012
This was just a gentle breeze meant to pull visitors through the gallery.
'Apples, 1912 - 80s' by Korbinian Aigner
This was made up of 369 drawings of apples.
Michael Rakowitz's 'What Dust Will Rise?' 2012. This was a beautiful piece made up of carved stone manuscripts that had been lost/burned from Kassel's library during an attack in WWII.
John Menick's 'Subliminal Projection Company, Volumes One and Two' 2009 - a subliminal sound piece played subtly in a corridor evoking memoires of childhoods.
A couple of lovely Tactita Dean postcards
Goshka Macuga's tapestry, 'Of what is, that it is; of what it is not, that it is not. 1' 2012
Pencil and watercolour drawing from 1926 by Konrad Zuse.
David Link's 'LoveLetters_1.0' 2010 - printouts of love letters as written by the Manchester University Computer.
Kristina Buch's 'The Lover' 2012 collection of empty chrysalides.
Some lovely paintings by Etal Adnan spanning between 1959 and 2010.
One of Thomas Bayrle's kinetic sculptures.
Nalini Malani's 'In Search of Vanished Blood'
Loved this film and installation by MOON & JEON
Mark Dion's gorgeous cabinet and wooden books entitled 'Xylotheque Kassel, 2011-12'
Rene Gabri's very funny wall text 'To write and unite every riddle, everything that is fragmentary and affirming the terrible whims of chance' 2012
I really really liked all the pieces presented by Walid Raad - here are some of them >
And finally for Day 1 - more Tacita Dean, this time large scale chalk drawings.