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  Arts & Living
Documenta 12:
Turning Kassel into Art Metropolis for 100 Days
Special Contribution
From German Embassy in Seoul
Kassel, Landschaft im Dia, Dieses Werk wurde vom Künstlerkollektiv Haus Rucker und Co anlässlich der documenta 6 geschaffen. Photo Courtesy of Rüdiger Wölk

The documenta is considered one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art worldwide. Every five years, this event makes Kassel the focus of the international art scene. This year's documenta 12 again showcases trends in present-day art. From 16 June to 23 September 2007, itwill be drawing avant-garde artists, art lovers and interested visitors to North Hesse.

The documenta was launched in 1955 as an event accompanying the Federal Garden Show. At thetime, no one suspected that the exhibition would prove such an unprecedented success. But from thestart, the director of the first documenta, Arnold Bode, had ambitious aims: he sought to confrontand reconcile the German public with international trends in modern art – after years in which arthad been forced to conform to the ideas of the National Socialist dictatorship. Bode's concept metwith an overwhelmingly positive response both at home and abroad. The documenta established itself as a seismograph for contemporary art.

One ingredient in the documenta's success is its staging as a unique event. A new curator isappointed and a new concept developed for each exhibition. The artistic director of this year's documenta, Roger M. Buergel, has chosen to present art from different regions of the world and from all conceivable media. Buergel does not simply wish to juxtapose individual works; his aim isto show connections and create leitmotifs that take the form of questions directed at art and its audience: Is modernity our antiquity?, What is bare life? and Education: What is to be done?

The highlights of this year's documenta include works of art and actions like those of the Chinese concept artist Ai Weiwei, who is bringing to Kassel 1001 of his compatriots to take part in an arthappening entitled Fairytale. Drawn from all social classes and professions, these Chinese citizenswill experience the confrontation with a totally alien (art) culture. Another spectacular feature of theevent is the participation of the Spanish experimental chef Ferrán Adrià, a culinary genius who made his name with creations like algae brittle, olive oil caramels and salt-shakers producing an aromatic artificial mist.

The twelth documenta is breaking new ground, not only conceptually but also spatially: in addition to its traditional exhibition site, the Fridericianum, it occupies a glass pavilion made up ofgreenhouse modules offering 12,000 square metres of exhibition space. Another new feature is thecloser involvement of the local public: a local body is being set up to ensure that the topics of thedocumenta 12 find their way into Kassel's schools, workplaces and media. In addition, a projectbringing together some 70 international magazines and journals to discuss aesthetic and societaltopics will take care of the exhibition's worldwide networking.

Contact:
Mr. DO, Phil-young (02-748-4123)
Mr. WINKLER, Peter (010-5715-4114)
Ms. KERSTEN, Anja (02-748-4115)

Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany 308-5 Dongbinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-816
Email: info@seoul.diplo.dewww.seoul.diplo.de




 

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