A report from dOCUMENTA (13)

There is an infinity of things that one can say about this international exhibition that manifests the marriage of artwork, institutional professionalism and good sense. It is meticulously organised to the last detail. So well sign-posted, that it is impossible to get lost – even if you try to. And it is installed with such impeccable fingerspitzgefühl that proves that the white cube has more rabbits to pull out of its hat than we could have ever imagined. It is all done so well and with the knowledge that it works for the greater good and that it is humane and righteous. And everyone is very happy to participate: artists, curators, audience, technicians, critics, caterers, police – everyone is happy to be in Kassel. We can finally all agree - gott sei dank!

There is of course an array of amazing work that only can be hailed. William Kentridge’s opera on time sweeps us away and leaves us begging for more with masochist pleasure. Geoffrey Farmer’s "Leaves of Grass" is a breathtaking – a magical manifestation of the beauty and everyday toil in the 20th century. Haegue Yang’s slow awakening over the disused railroad tracks is a kiss on the eyelids of anyone who has ever woken up alone or in the arms of a loved one. Marcos Lutyens and Raimundas Malašauskas’s "Hypnotic Show" a treat for those who have time to be lead away by the former’s velvet voice in the innermost mazes of your own subconscious. Or the joy of meeting the angry and humourous minimalist techno of Erek Cevdet on the top of a nameless shopping centre . There are many more and I am eternally grateful that I had the pleasure of living these experiences.

But how can we relate to the hundreds of incredibly well researched projects about distant places and long past events that reek of cultivated zeitgeist and do exactly what they are expected to do today – not yesterday and not tomorrow? There are thousands of artworks that scream that they are sure that they will help us to build a better tomorrow. In short dOCUMENTA (13) is so well-oiled and smoothly surfaced that it slips away on its own impeccable middle-of-the-roadum.

I do not show any work on the blog. It is more appropriate to show some of the thousands of signs that accompany the artwork and sometime are part of them – they show a truer face of dOCUMENTA (13) than anything else. If you want to see more images, you can do so here.

-Per Hüttner