100 days of Documenta
Every five years, Kassel, Germany, is the site of Documenta, one of the world’s most important exhibitions of contemporary art.
Conceived in 1955 as part of a federal horticultural show, its original intent was to bring a post-war German public up to speed with modern art and included works of those labeled degenerate artists during the Nazi era. More recent versions of the exhibition have featured art from all continents, presented in the form of paintings, sculpture, installations, photography, video, sound, performance art and other mediums. Invited artists often create works specifically for the show, and what they come up with can be esoteric, controversial and laden with political statement. The show runs for 100 days. Documenta (14) is unique in the fact that it has two venues. In addition to its home base of Kassel, it’s also being shown in Athens, Greece. The show’s curator, Adam Szymczyk, chose Athens as a symbol of another European reality: economically battered and grappling with the fallout from migration. The show in Athens opened April 8 and runs through July 16, 2017. Kassel’s version of Documenta opens on June 10 and runs through Sept. 17. With some 160 artists’ works exhibited at venues spread throughout the city, a visitor would need days to see everything the show has to offer.
In addition to the traditional exhibition venues such as the Fridericianum, the documenta hall, the Neue Galerie and the Friedrichsplatz, obscure and unexpected places in the city’s Nordstadtquartier serve as canvas to the exhibits and happenings. The exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Single-day adult tickets cost 22 euros; two-day tickets are 38 euros, and season tickets go for 100 euros. Entry after 5 p.m. costs 10 euros. For more, see www.documenta14.de/en.