May 17, 2011 - filed under Upcoming Events   

dOCUMENTA (13) is a series of artistic acts and gestures that are already taking place as well as an exhibition that will open on June 9, 2012, and that will run for 100 days. dOCUMENTA (13) does not follow a single, overall concept but engages in conducting, and choreographing manifold materials, methods, and knowledges.

Curatorial Team and Process

dOCUMENTA (13) is being planned by artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev with a number of agents, advisors, and artists. Throughout 2009 and 2010, Christov-Bakargiev traveled and lectured widely, building up a group of people with whom the process is shared. More than half of the participating artists have already been invited and are preparing projects for dOCUMENTA (13).

The dOCUMENTA (13) Agents contribute in various ways, and have different degrees of engagement. Some work more closely and consistently, others more loosely and occasionally, so as to create a generative process that is organic and affective, open to change. The Agents may increase during the upcoming years, and constitute an unstable curatorial entity. “In small systems,” states Christov-Bakargiev, “an agent acts by proxy, and chooses among a number of alternatives, so that agency is delegated, thus implying an element of uncertainty through which the system works. An agent, in biology, precipitates a reaction, and in fiction, an agent suggests someone who is hidden or undercover, never fully revealing identity. Agere, in Latin, is to act.” Currently, the Agents are Leeza Ahmady, Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy, Sunjung Kim, Koyo Kouoh, Joasia Krysa, Marta Kuzma, Raimundas Malašauskas, Chus Martínez, Lívia Páldi, Hetti Perkins, Eva Scharrer, Kitty Scott, and Andrea Viliani.

What is dOCUMENTA (13) about?

Questions of personal and collective emancipation through art emerge in the process of making dOCUMENTA (13) by thinking through a number of composite ontologies that generate paradoxical conditions of contemporary life and artistic production. These include:

  • participation and withdrawal as simultaneous modes of existence today;
  • embodiment and disembodiment, and their mutual dependency;
  • rootedness and homelessness, as a dual condition of subjecthood;
  • proximity and distance, and their relativity;
  • collapse and recovery, occurring simultaneously as well as in succession;
  • the flood of uncontrolled information and the contemporaneous obsession with control and organization;
  • translation and untranslatability, and their negotiation;
  • inclusion and exclusion, and their connectedness;
  • access and inaccessibility, and their co-existence;
  • the obsolescence of a Eurocentric notion of art and the paradoxical emergence of practices related to that same notion in the world at large today;
  • human life and other forms of life facing multi-species entangled  histories;
  • advanced science/technology and its alliance with ancient traditions;
  • tangible and intangible heritage and their interconnectedness with contemporary culture;
  • the specificity of being an artist and the non-specificity of artistic practice.

Exploring this set of composite ontologies and considerations, the exhibition will be held in various locations and places, and will include new works by more than 100 artists from around the world. In some cases, these will be presented as parts of projects with other artists, agents, or persons active in cultural fields including science and literature. Furthermore, a number of historical artworks will be exhibited in these interrelated ideas, conversations, and parallel stories.

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