several times i wanted to visit the documenta, the giganto exhibition of contemporary art, taking place every 5 years in kassel. my first (and only) time thus far was back in 2012 for documenta 13 – which turned out to be a complete blast in every aspect. as a consequence, there was a looooot of excitement and anticipation for this years documenta, that drastically crashed just recently.
well, one cannot and should not compare. of course every documenta is different and unique with their own artistic directors, themes, ambitions and concepts as well as, of course, artists… but: in 2012 there was a huge and addicting hype already long before the opening in june. interviews with the super-likeable carolyn christov-bakargiev, reports, speculations and rumors and lots of publications (first and foremost these tiny artist’s notebooks). i had the feeling to be able to kind of grow with the whole thing? caught by the wave very early. documenta 13 itself was an exhibition of art and ideas in an optimistic, free and unpredictable fashion and enormous variation. a mindblowing thing and therefore the perfect escape from daily life.
documenta 14 was not hyped at all beforehand. not much to find out and the small pieces that got known were, you know. the artistic director himself? you know… his concept is very different from the one of 2012 for sure. apparently, adam szymczyk uses art as an instrument for his hypocritical moralizing lecture with a wagging finger. he confronts the visitors with subjects like politics, economy, global inequity, globalization, gentrification, slavery, imperialism, fascism, oppression, nationalism, colonialism and the “problematic” relation between germany and greece.
i personally have a rather sophisticated and reasonable opinion of every of those topics i’d say (alongside a true and honest compassion for victims of every kind of injustice), but i simply dont wanna be confronted with these topics in the context of an art exhibition – which, for me, symbolizes the opportunity to escape from demagogy and populism for a while. not gonna happen in kassel for sure.
dear mr. szymcyk, please go to athens, stay there, surround yourself with your deciples of bad conscience, do-gooders and those with the need for over-theorization of everything, improve your own world, get a halo, have a long life and leave the free world alone. thank you. ah, one more. the documenta is a kassel-thing!