documenta 14

The documenta is one of the biggest exhibitions for contemporary art held every five years for 100 days in Kassel, Germany. At more than 30 locations indoor and outdoor you can discover art works and temporary restaurants and bars enhance the city. In 2017 the 14th documenta is held in Αθήνα, Greece and Kassel, Germany – the central exhibition hall Fridericianum is filled with exhibits from museums in Greece.

The main topic is of course migration and the situation of refugees in Europe. But different areas are covered and can be explored in the documenta-Halle, the Neue Galerie and the Neue Neue Galerie (Hauptpost). In addition to many small outlets you can find a lot of art works outdoor like the obelisk at the Königsplatz, the blood mill in the Karlsaue, the covered Torwache or the marble tent on the Weinberg.

Most iconic work is the Parthenon of Books created from books that were or are forbidden somewhere around the world. People were asked to donate those books but it was still unfinished at the end of the exhibition – due to its vast dimensions. Another work causing trouble was the smoking Zwehrenturm of the Fridericianum that brought many people to call the firefighters.

What I liked was to explore the old underground railway station underneath Kassel Hauptbahnhof (Kulturbahnhof). Kassel has a lot of catacombs but the few guided tours are always sold-out long time in advance. It is funny if you pass a railway station twice a day and don’t know that there is a full station underneath. The star there wasn’t art – but the station itself. Best bar was the rooftop bar on the Kaufhof shopping mall – with nice views on the Friedrichsplatz, Friedericianum and the Parthenon of Books.

To me the documenta 14 wasn’t the best exhibition I’ve seen at Kassel. The available material to get the full picture was insufficient, art works aren’t explained enough and lines were very long. Maybe we visited at the wrong point in time. In the past I liked the outdoor exhibitions most – but it was raining nearly the whole day. Let’s see how it is going to be in five years!

documenta 14

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