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Von der documenta lernen? Über die kulturelle Dringlichkeit im Ursprung der Ausstellungsreihe und ihre transkulturellen Implikationen für das kuratorische Konzept der documenta 14

Lutz, Barbara

Kulturwissenschaftliche Zeitschrift, Bd. 2017 (2018), Iss. 1: S. 76–87

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Lutz, Barbara


With the guiding principle „Learning from Athens“ the 14th edition of documenta took place in 2017 both in the Greek metropolis of Athens and the German city of Kassel. As such, documenta 14 did not appear as a touring exhibition but as two single and at the same time correlated exhibitions in two different countries located in the middle of Europe and on its outskirts. With this curatorial approach, Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk goes counter the basic parameters of the well-established Western exhibition institution, which was founded in 1955 and, since then, is implemented as a periodical exhibition with a one hundred-day duration at its venue in Kassel. Taking a transcultural perspective, this article considers how the curatorial concept of documenta 14 challenges not only the institutional history, structure and status of documenta but also how it resumes and transforms its initial understanding of an ethics of cultural connectivity in times of crisis and traumatic historical ruptures for today. Moreover, it critically scrutinizes, how far the curatorially initiated „terms of invitation“ and „forms of collaboration“ for the exhibition between Kassel and Athens can be acknowledged as a shared cultural practice.