documenta 13

documenta 13

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev’s Coffee Klatsch: Documenta Devotees Take Over Downtown Pâtisserie

Christov-Bakargiev at Documenta 13 with Giuseppe Penone and his sculpture, 'Idee di Pietra.' (Uwe Zucchi/AFP/Getty Images)

LAST MONDAY EVENING, the most important person in the art world was giving a lecture at the Soho pâtisserie Ceci-Cela. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, a sprightly, voluble 54-year-old with a halo of blond corkscrew curls, hadn’t informed Ceci-Cela, and the waitstaff didn’t seem especially happy about her being there. About twenty people had packed into the pâtisserie’s tiny back room, leaving little space for new patrons to sit down. On the plus side, most people were ordering coffee and cakes. One man, apparently not there for Ms. Christov-Bakargiev’s talk on topics like wealth and time, stormed out. Read More

documenta 13

Documenta 13 Draws 860,000 Visitors, Record Number

A clock by Anri Sala at Documenta 13. (Courtesy yellow book/Flickr)

The 13th edition of Documenta, the epic 100-day art exhibition held every five years throughout the museums, buildings and public spaces of Kassel, Germany, closed on Sunday, and organizers announced that it had attracted a total of 860,000 visitors, the highest number ever achieved by the show. The previous record holder had been 2007’s Documenta 12, which saw 754,301 visitors. Attendance has increased with each show. Read More

documenta 13

Documenta Sees Booming Ticket Sales

(Courtesy Getty Images)

AMA reports that the 13th edition of Documenta in Kassel, Germany, has already sold 10,000 season tickets.

This number is up from the last edition, five years ago, which saw only 5,901 season tickets sold. It’s impossible to say if this means that the event has been more popular this year, but, AMA notes, Brad Pitt did visit this time around. Read More

documenta 13

How Are Things Going at the Documenta 13 Events Outside of Kassel?

TTK (Courtesy Getty Images)

Documenta 13 is in full swing in Kassel, Gemany. Reviews have been coming out at a steady clip and they are, for the most part, quite positive. (Here is Observer Culture Editor Sarah Douglas’s take.) A great deal less has been written about the other Documenta events taking place worldwide, from the exhibition in Kabul, Afghanistan to its seminar in Cairo. But that is slowly beginning to change. Read More

documenta 13

I Did Documenta in a Day

Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel 2012 (Courtesy Nils Klinger)

If you were wondering whether or not Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, curator of the 13th edition of the quinquennial art exhibition Documenta, is ambitious, here is all you need to know: she wanted to bring the world’s second-largest meteorite, a 37-ton rock called El Chaco, from Argentina to Kassel, Germany, and park it in front of the Fridericianum, Documenta’s main venue. The project was proposed by the artists Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolas Goldberg. Ms. Christov-Bakargiev wasn’t able to do this—it wasn’t a budget thing, she ran into opposition from members of the Moqoit people of northern Argentina—but she takes care, in her catalog essay to inform you that, had she been able to, “it probably would have been the heaviest single object to have ever in history been transported by humans.” As a curator, she’s into heavy lifting. There are 166 artists in her Documenta, and their artworks are spread over 32 venues throughout the city of Kassel. I tried to see all of them in five hours. Read More

documenta 13

Documenta 13’s Unrealized Projects

"Unbuilt Roads," edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist. (Courtesy Hatje Cantz Publishers)

Documenta has a really nice history of attracting projects from artists that turn out to be too unwieldy or costly to realize, some of which are almost certainly designed to fail, like Alina Szapocznikow’s plan to make a double-sized Rolls Royce out of marble for the 1972 edition of the show. (The organizers told her they didn’t have the money and Rolls Royce politely declined sponsoring the sculpture, which she termed “completely useless, and a reflection of the god of supreme luxury.” Her correspondence with various people about the project has since been exhibited in various shows.) Read More

documenta 13

Documenta About Twice as Popular as Venice Biennale

Kassel is king. (Courtesy compujeremy/Flickr)

Though Kassel, Germany, is not quite as glamorous as Venice, it turns out that the most recent edition of the international art exhibition that it hosts ever five years, Documenta, had about twice as many visitors as the most recent Venice Biennale. According to published reports, Documenta 12, in 2007, attracted about 750,000 people, while the most recent Venice Biennale, in 2011, attracted 375,000 visitors. Read More