Fantasies of Encounter: A Discussion of the Relations between Documenta 14 and the City of Athens

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Abstract

In 2017 the international contemporary art biennial Documenta14 set up an official venue in Athens. Motivated by a curatorial ambition to displace the biennial geographically to a site charged by multiple crisis in Europe Documenta 14 thereby enacted a geographical displacement from its permanent German venue in Kassel. As a symptom of crisis and a site from which experimentation with new solidarity practices emerged, Athens, according to the curatorial vision of the chief curator Adam Szymzyck, was a place from which to develop new strategies for responding to an urgent political and social situation. This paper explores how d14 in its ambivalent status of simultaneously a touristic device and a claimed social and political experiment connected to Athens. The author argues that the event offers a particularly clear instance of how organization cannot be separated from the artistic and curatorial politics of an art event.
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In 2017 the international contemporary art biennial Documenta14 set up an official venue in Athens. Motivated by a curatorial ambition to displace the biennial geographically to a site charged by multiple crisis in Europe Documenta 14 thereby enacted a geographical displacement from its permanent German venue in Kassel. As a symptom of crisis and a site from which experimentation with new solidarity practices emerged, Athens, according to the curatorial vision of the chief curator Adam Szymzyck, was a place from which to develop new strategies for responding to an urgent political and social situation. This paper explores how d14 in its ambivalent status of simultaneously a touristic device and a claimed social and political experiment connected to Athens. The author argues that the event offers a particularly clear instance of how organization cannot be separated from the artistic and curatorial politics of an art event.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOn Curating
Number of pages20
Publication statusSubmitted - 2019
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
ID: 293595718