Exhibition visit Kassel

documenta 15

One of the most important exhibtions of contmeporary art worldwide, documenta was created in 1955 by professor, curator and painter Arnold Bode. This year documenta marks its 15th iteration in Kassel where this year field school students were fortunate enough to attend. The exhibition lasts 100 days and occurs every 5 years. The title Documenta is derived from Latin and was constructed by Bode’s attempt to “document the art world,” specifically after a time of warfare, poverty and trauma. He collected art deemed degenerate art during the Nazi regime and shed light to important artistic works in the same collective space. There continues to be an archive of each Documenta to show the progression and parallels of art history and documents them in time for preservation and archive.
This year's artistic director(s) Ruangrupa (“art space” or “spatial form”) are a Jakarta-based artists’ collective where they base their values and ideas on Lumbung (“rich barn”). Lumbung “refers to a communal building in rural Indonesia where a community’s harvest is gathered, stored and distributed according to jointly determined criteria as a pooled resource for the future” (documenta). Principles of “collectively, resource building, equitable distribution” and sustainability exist at the core of Jakarta traditions and are shared with Documenta for cross-cultural inspiration. The students were able to freely tour the city's exhibition at their own pace, exploring alongside other students and artists and sharing their experiences with one another. The students note in their journal of works that fascinated them or challenged their ideologies.

The students had an amazing time staying at a local hostel in Kassel and sharing experiences with other artists staying there for documenta. Touring the city's exhibition by day and celebrating together by night, the field school took part in a truly remarkable moment of documenta. Visit documenta 15s official website to browse through the participating artist and further information on this year's exhibition: documenta fifteen.

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