Latitudes to facilitate the Nature Addicts Fund Travelling Academy, 11–15 September, organised within the Maybe Education and Public Programs of dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel

 Photo: Latitudes

| UK |

Latitudes has been invited to facilitate the Nature Addicts Fund Travelling Academy to be held between the 11–15 September, coinciding with the last week of dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel.

Fifteen european artists have been selected by the fund to discuss their work, participate in performances and guided tours by dOCUMENTA (13) artists Maria Thereza Alves, Toril Johannessen and Claire Pentecost, as well as attending the two-day conference On Seeds and Multispecies Intra-Action: Disowning Life on September 10 and September 15, organised within the Maybe Education and Public Programs of dOCUMENTA (13)

The artists participating in this iteration of the Nature Addicts Fund Travelling Academy
are (in alphabetical order): Ackroyd/Harvey, UK; Geir Backe Altern, N; Linus Ersson, SW; Aurélien Gamboni, FR/CH; Fernando Garcia Dory, ES; Mustafa Kaplan, TU; Zissis Kotionis, GR; Julia Mandle, USA/NL; Clare Patey, UK; Erik Samakh, FR; Asa Sonjasdotter, SW/D; Elisa Strinna, IT; Mette Ingvarsten, DK.

 
 Friedrichsplatz, Kassel. Photo: Latitudes.

| ES |
Latitudes ha sido invitada a moderar la Nature Addict Fund Traveling Academy que tendrá lugar a entre el 11 y 15 de septiembre, coincidiendo con la clausura de dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel. 

Quince artistas han sido seleccionados por la fundación para presentar su trabajo, participar en performances y visitas guiadas por Maria Thereza Alves, Toril Johannessen y Claire Pentecost, artistas participantes en dOCUMENTA (13) así como asistir a los dos días de la conferencia On Seeds and Multispecies Intra-Action: Disowning Life que tendrá lugar el 10 septiembre (primera parte) y 15 septiembre (segunda parte), organizada por el Maybe Education and Public Programs de dOCUMENTA (13)

Los artistas participantes en esta edición de la Nature Addicts Fund Travelling Academy
son (en orden alfabético): Ackroyd/Harvey, UK; Geir Backe Altern, N; Linus Ersson, SW; Aurélien Gamboni, FR/CH; Fernando Garcia Dory, ES; Mustafa Kaplan, TU; Zissis Kotionis, GR; Julia Mandle, USA/NL; Clare Patey, UK; Erik Samakh, FR; Asa Sonjasdotter, SW/D; Elisa Strinna, IT; Mette Ingvarsten, DK.



All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the photo caption)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




Latitudes' "out of office" photo album 2011–2012

This is the fourth consecutive year (see 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 posts) we say goodbye to the 2011–12 season with an 'out of office' post with some unseen and 'behind the scenes' moments lived in the past 11 months. 

Happy holidays/felices vacaciones readers! More Latitudes' via Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/LTTDS) and Twitter (@LTTDS). 

– Latitudes | www.lttds.org


22 September 2011: Back to the future. transfering the mp3 file of the new anthem commissioned by Fermín Jiménez Landa onto a cassette. Images of their show here.

21 September 2011: Lee Welch and Fermín Jiménez Landa talk about their show to MUSAC's staff.

21 September 2011: Newly framed works by Lee Welch (top left) and photos by Fermín Jiménez Landa (right).

22 September 2011: Watching concrete dry (Lee Welch and Fermín Jiménez Landa's exhibition plinths/bordermarks).

23 September 2011: Final rehearsal of La Cena band in the Laboratorio 987 space. Opening performance of 'Himno Nacional' here.

 Permission to parade through the streets and squares of León's centre on the 24th September.

  24 September 2011: Fermín Jiménez Landa (camera) Lee Welch (video recording) the "Himno Nacional" 'pasacalles' parade around the streets of León.
 12 October 2011: Finding 'The Last Newspaper' displayed at Walter König's bookstore while browsing for nice books during Frieze Art Fair, London.

13 November 2011: Jorge Satorre fixing one of the posters of the show, before we take off to discuss his and Erick Beltráns' project 'Modelling Standard', an interview that was published in the February issue of Atlántica magazine.

January 2012: Testing, testing... 'The Dutch Assembly' programme available for smartphones.

 18 January: "Café con...Latitudes". Informal talk with Hangar artists-in-residence. Photo: Hangar. Latitudes has been part of Hangar's Programming Comitee between 2010–13.

31 January 2012: Premis GAC 2012 award ceremony at MACBA's atrium. Mariana Cánepa of Latitudes' was part of this year's jury.

2 February 2012: "...y desde el 'backstage'" (leer aquí) de Vanessa Graell en el suplemento 'Tendències', El Mundo.

6 February 2012: Demonstration to pressure politicians to change their minds about stopping the plan for the Canòdrom to be the future Centre of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. The windows were whitewashed as it is done with unused facilities.

Artists whitewashing the Canòdrom windows. 

 12 February 2012: "Mataró Chauffeur Service" mangled at Matadero, Madrid.

13 February 2012, ARCOmadrid: Installing vinyls and posters for each of the The Dutch Assembly hourly talks, readings, artists presentations, performances, book launches, in conversations and screenings throughout the five days of the fair. See list here (and some audiorecordings). Download full programme details here.

'The Dutch Assembly' was well connected.


13 February 2012: The Dutch Assembly 'Superstructure' space by Jasper Niens and Thijs Ewalts. On the picture, the choir performance 'Care' by Rory Pilgrim, presented by De Hallen, Haarlem.


16 February 2012: Latitudes introducing Ann Demeester, Director, and Nathalie Hartjes, coordinator of the Gallerist Programme at De Appel, presented a round table discussion with (left to right): Jeanine Hofland (Jeanine Hofland Contemporary Art, Amsterdam), Rebeca Blanchard (NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona) and Helga de Alvear (Helga de Alvear, Madrid) around the profession of the gallerist. Photo: Haco de Ridder.

Álvaro Calleja profiles The Dutch Assembly: "Un Puente entre dos naciones'/'a bridge between two nations" en el  ABCDArco, 16 February 2012.


February: At last...Lara Almarcegui's monograph is here! Edited by Latitudes. 

 16 March: Good morning Sharjah! Part one of the March Meeting report here.

Sharjah lunch with curator and 'El Cultural' critic, Javier Hontoria.

17 March: Latitudes' presentation on residencies (for artists and curators) during Sharjah's fifth March Meeting, which focused on 'Working with Artists and Audiences on Commissions and Residencies'. Latitudes' panel titled "Minding the Gap: the Critical Role of Smaller Organisations" had presentations by Hu Fang (Vitamin Creative Space, China) and Daniella Rose King (MASS Alexandria, Egypt), and was chaired by Samar Martha (ArtSchool Palestine, Palestine). More photos here. Photo: Posted during the conference on the Twitter account of @lamyaalsuwaidi

Glitzy souvenirs from Dubai, anyone? See more images of Dubai's trip.

 23 March 2012: Last day in the Emirates. Visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, one of the world's largest mosques. Read more on our trip to the Emirates on the blog (part 1, part 2 and part 3). 

 29 March (29M): General Strike in Spain. Many more demonstrations to come...

22 April: One of this year's exhibitions highlights: Xavier Le Roy's "Retrospective" at Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona. On the finissage, children almost stole the show joining performers.


Here, father (performer) and son, performing together in the finissage.

10 April 2012: The happy moment of receiving copies of a Amikejo, a book we have been working on most of the winter. See images of the book here.

31 May: Manifesta 9 curator Cuauhtémoc Medina with artist Jeremy Deller. See Latitudes' photo report of Manifesta 9.

31 May: With Lara Almarcegui while she explains her work included in Manifesta 9, Genk. (see more pictures of Manifesta 9, here).

2 June: Visit to the drielandenpunt for a remote book launch. This is the apex of the triangle-shaped borders of what was Amikejo.

2 June: Friends that come to a booklaunch in a remote place, the drielandenpunt ("Three-Country Point") in Dutch, or Dreiländereck ("Three-Country Corner") in German, or Trois Frontières ("Three Borders") in French." More images here. Photo: Klaas van Gorkum

 6 June 2012: Welcome to Germany! Brussels–Kassel train journey. A little German snack at Köln's Hauptbahnhof.

 6 June: A German, a Dane and and English man meet and greet in a square. (gallerist Johann König, artist Tue Greenfort and Max Andrews' of Latitudes in Friedrichtplatz, Kassel). See Latitudes' documenta (13) photo report here.

7 June: Launch of Maria Loboda's book at Karlsaue Park with music, smoke and a pyramid of ice with 750 litres of champagne. See Latitudes' documenta (13) photo report here.

9 June: "Spain is dead" sign posted opposite Kassel's Fridericianum the day Spanish Ministry of Economy De Guindos, announced the financial "bail out".
8 June 2012: Chance meeting with Mr Weiner and Mr Weiner's tote bag in Kassel, good memories of our 2008 'The Crest of a Wave'.

15 June: Visiting lecturers, Máster en Arte, Museología y Crítica Contemporáneas, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. The session was preceded by an evening conference at CGAC on "The Curatorial Contract: Analogies and case studies". Photo: Pedro de Llano.

 16 June: Almejas, berberechos and cold beer in Santiago de Compostela. Galicia calidade! 



 19 July: iPad-photodocumenting Haegue Yang's piece produced for "Sense and Sustainability", Urdabai Arte 2012.

 Tangle of 2012 press and work passes.

All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org (except when noted otherwise in the caption of the photo). 

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.




Newsletter #45 – Summer 2012


Newsletter #45
http://mad.ly/c60ad2 (in English) 
http://mad.ly/32fed2 (en Español)

Latitudes' current and forthcoming projects:

#OpenCurating, BCN Producció 2012 Research Grant, throughout 2012 + info...

Facilitators of the second Nature Addicts Fund Travelling Academy, 11–15 September, Kassel. Organised within the Maybe Education and Public Programs of dOCUMENTA (13). + info...

'Projects 2005–2012 / Incidents of Travel', in La Sucursal, Casa del Lago, Mexico City, Mexico, 27 September–5 November 2012. + info...

2005–12 Newsletters here.




dOCUMENTA (13) in pictures & as seen by the critics, 9 June–16 September 2012

 View of Kassel's Friedrichsplatz.

How can we begin to unpack the complex, multilayered, plural and expansive dOCUMENTA (13)? As the paranormal researcher Charles Fort wrote 'One measures a circle, beginning anywhere'. We photodocumented some of the works on view, and read (and still reading, therefore this blog will evolve over time by incorporating quotations from newly published commentary) several reviews by art writers and critics throughout the past few days which deserve re-reading and further sharing. Here are some highlights of the 2013 iteration.

The New York Times' review by Robert Smith sets the tone: "Ms. Christov-Bakargiev has assembled an immense, unruly organism of a show. It is alternately inspiring — almost visionary — and insufferable, innovative and predictable, meticulous and sentimentally precious. I would not have missed this seething, shape-shifting extravaganza for the world, and I’d rather not see its like again, at least not on this dwarfing, imperious, self-canceling scale."


Filipa Ramos' review on Art Agenda "Postcard from Kassel", begins unraveling the Kunsthalle Fridericianum where we started our tour.


(...) the total bareness of the first rooms of the canonical core, the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, is broken by the display of Kai Althoff’s letter to Christov-Bakargiev explaining his decision not to take part in the exhibition (“life” was more important)—although a work of Althoff’s is, despite this, still featured in the Rotunda [not in the catalogue].


Kay Altoff's letter on display in a vitrine occupies the first empty room of the Fridericianum only accompanied by Ryan Gander's light breeze titled "I Need Some Meaning I can Memorise [The Invisible Pull], 2012. More images of Altoff's letter here via Contemporary Art Daily.

(...) "Before getting there, Ryan Gander’s breeze, I Need Some Meaning I Can Memorise (The Invisible Pull) (2012)—a light wind that caresses one’s skin and hair—and Ceal Floyer’s audio piece, a melodious promise, repeated to exhaustion, of “So I’ll just keep on… till I get it right” (‘Til I Get It Right, 2005), hail the most attentive spectators.

The Guardian's critic Adrian Searle, also highlighted one of wonderful treats in the Fridericianum, the "(...) 400 beautiful, modest postcard-sized paintings of different varieties of apple, by Bavarian pastor and artist Korbinian Aigner. Imprisoned for his anti-Nazi sermons, Aigner worked as a gardener in Dachau and Sachsenhausen, where he cultivated several new varieties, one for each year of his internment. There's pathos here, among these rows of painted apples." [3D view of the room here]




Korbinian Aigner's 372 gouache and pencil drawings of "Apples" made between 1912-60s.

Making way up the Kunsthalle Fridericianum frieze magazine's assistant editor Christy Lange relates her highlights of the venue:

(...) The rest of the proved somewhat uneven in tone: lurching from Goshka Macuga’s large-scale digitally-printed black and white tapestry of a tableaux at a dOCUMENTA-related event in Kabul (featuring an oversized cobra front and centre), to the delicate and haunting hand-woven tapestries of Hannah Ryggen (1894–1970), who reproduced violent scenes of wars and conflicts in a medium that few in the 1930s and 40s would have thought to use to do so. [Here a great set of detailed photographs of Ryggen's work here via Contemporary Art Daily and a 3D view here]


Goshka Macuga's tapestry "Of what is, that it is; of what is not, that is not 1", 2012. 5.2 x 17,4m.

"Both of these works – Lange continues – focusing on weaving dovetailed nicely (if not a bit obviously) with one of the venue’s highlights: Mario García Torres’s installation, which documented his search for the One Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, a lodging house run by and resided in by Alighiero Boetti from 1971 until 1977, where Boetti worked to produce his famous series of tapestries made by Afghan weavers (which were supposed to appear in documenta 5, but never did)." [3D view of this piece here]



Mario García Torres at the Fridericianum's first floor.

(...) In the Fridericianum’s cramped Rotunda space, the exhibition displayed the kinds of curatorial flourishes that often seem to accompany a certain kind of anthropological curating that capriciously mixes anthropological artefacts and found objects with artworks. This kind of museological, cabinet-of-curiosities approach, having already been a trope of contemporary artists for a while now, seems especially dated in the hands of a curator. In this darkened space crammed with spot-lit vitrines, I had trouble making the connections between Giorgio Morandi’s paintings, displayed along with actual objects from his studio, and the neighbouring vitrines containing ‘Bactrian Princesses’ – a series of small sculptures of seated women created in the late 3rd and early 2nd century BC in what is now modern-day Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan. While these artworks and artefacts are no doubt fascinating, there is no apparent justification for their inclusion together, other than their need to be housed in vitrines, and the fact they probably couldn’t have been procured for any contemporary art exhibition other than this one.


Rotunda in the Fridericianum: the brain. As written in the Guidebook: "an associative space of research where a number of artworks, objects and documents are brought together in lieu of a concept". 

Filipa Ramos rightly observed the "(...) large amount of micro-museums, from Pedro Reyes’s Museum of Hypothetical Lifetimes (2011), an ode to human nature and social structure, to Kader Attia’s The Repair from Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures (2012)—a horrifying yet astonishing research project on the impact and effects of francophone colonialism; to Michael Rakowitz’s cabinets of destroyed or lost books, and many, many others."

  Kader Attia's "The Repair", 2012. Slideshow projection and artefacts from Africa.


Attia’s 'Repair From Occident to Extra-Occidental Cultures', "[is ] a daunting installation that reflects on art, colonialism and body scarification in Africa but draws its main force from a set of large carved-wood busts depicting the horrific face wounds suffered by European soldiers in World War I. Gripping yet also illustrational, the piece exemplifies several archive-like works here. It also reflects the continuing hegemony of late-late Conceptualism — now extravagantly materialized and labour-intensive — over the international exhibition circuit." (Roberta Smith in The New York Times). [3D view of this room here].

Mariana Castillo Deball's "Uncomfortable Objects. Finding Oneself Outside", 2012. 
Many more pictures of this wonderful work here, by Contemporary Art Daily. Otherwise a 3D view here.

Christy Lange continued to the Ottoneum, which in her opinion "(...) yielded some predictable ‘eco-related’ contributions scattered among the natural history museum displays of taxidermied animals and animal skeletons. (...) it’s worth the trip upstairs to see Mark Dion’s specially commissioned installation. Here he designed an elaborate wooden display case to house the Ottoneum’s unique ‘Schildbach Xylotheque’ – a ‘wood library’ made in 1771–79 of several hundred books carved out of different species of trees. The books are actually boxes that house dioramas inside. Dion’s installation and Schildbach’s library is a felicitous match made in nerd heaven." [360º panoramic view here]



Mark Dion, recuperates Carl Schildbach's 18th Century 'Schildbach Xylotheque' (a wood library) with a new hexagonal display chamber.

"Nearby in the Neue Galerie, several visitors were fawning in unabashed awe and wonder over Geoffrey Farmer’s impressive installation, which evokes that same sort instantaneous reaction that Christian Marclay’s The Clock recently did, perhaps because of its sheer scale, meticulous detail and the obvious time and manual labour it took to create it." [See panoramic view here]



 Geoffrey Farmer's "Leaves of Grass", with thousands of pictures cut from five decades of Life magazine, in the Neue Galerie.

 Adriana Lara's "Purpose", 2012, also at the Neue Galerie, accompanied by sculptures by Brazilian Maria Martins.


Rossella Biscotti, The Trial, 2010-12, in the Neue Gallerie. Concrete sculptures made from casts from the architectural features of the courtroom where members of the extra-parliamentary left-wing Autonomia Operaia (including Antonio Negri and other intellectuals), were accused of being ideologically and morally responsible for Italian terrorism in the 1970s.

(...) On a side street near the Rathaus, in a dark hall in a backyard of a house, was Tino Sehgal’s installation, in which, as it only became clear once my eyes adjusted to the darkness, are about 20 young men and women in a circle chanting, singing, marching, and slouching against the wall. At a certain point, still in the dark, they start conversing about ‘income’ and ‘output’ and ‘satisfaction’ – I guess the point at which it starts to feel like a Tino Sehgal performance? But the performance still captivates for two main reasons: though it takes place in darkness, it unexpectedly becomes about our vision, or the limits thereof, more than any of our other senses. And because it still has that skilful Sehgal twist, which all his best piece have, by which you, the audience member, suddenly and unexpectedly find yourself centre stage, playing the somewhat sheepish performer. 

Adrian Searle also favourited Sehgal's "(...) magnificent performance piece behind a decaying Huguenot house. Performers stamp and sing, whisper, holler and dance. They go through little routines as I stumble between them. Sehgal's exhilarating 'This Variation' is among the best things in Documenta, as is choreographer Jérôme Bel's Disabled Theatre, a confrontational performance made in collaboration with actors with learning difficulties. Both Bel's and Sehgal's work concern presence and presentness, what it means to be a spectator." [In depth text on Sehgal's 'This variation' art-dance-music piece also by Adrian Searle here].



Façade of Kunsthalle Fridericianum.

Dan Fox, Senior Editor of frieze magazine, analisis went on describing the "punch-drunk with politically hectoring or ‘we are the world’ approaches to large-scale exhibition making that would make even Bono seem modest in his outlook, I expected more of the same, yet dOCUMENTA (13) is an exhibition of subtlety and imagination, if somewhat over-optimistic in its attempts to get audiences to engage with other areas of intellectual activity, such as quantum physicists (as could be found in the Fridericianum, next to Mario García Torres’ work about Alighiero Boetti’s One Hotel in Kabul)." Fox ends his report reflecting on this year's title: "(...) However, one crucial question remains. Does the overlaboured spelling ‘dOCUMENTA (13)’ herald a return of the early 1990s exhibition title? ‘Site/[in–]Sight’, ‘(in–)TERRA–gating Gender’…"

Sam Thorne's overview of Karlsaue's park: "Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev offered artists a prefab house to work with. Responses range from Pedro Reyes’s ‘sanatorium’ (offering art-themed counselling) and Raimundas Malašauskas and Marcos Lutyens’s hypnosis sessions to mini solo presentations, by artists including Rosemarie Trockel and Joan Jonas. Elsewhere, there are various takes on public sculpture, from gimmicky pieces like Massimo Bartolini’s wave pool and Anri Sala’s perspectivally-skewed clock [Latitudes' note: it seems to us that many failed to understand that the clock was 'frontly' visible from one of the telescopes (the Refraktor Linsenteleskop, 1976) placed on the top floor of the Orangerie] to a characteristically elegant collection of works by Carol Bove." 


 Pedro Reyes, Sanatorium, at Karlsaue Park, (as described in D13's website) "an ongoing performative project that involves eight types of therapy sessions offered to visitors of dOCUMENTA (13) “to treat urban ills.” The content and procedures for these sessions are prepared by the artist and carried out by art students who are trained by Reyes as therapists, analysts, and tutors to the visitors."
 
 Anri Sala, Clocked Perspective, 2012, at the far end of the Hirschgraben, one of the two canals in the Karlsaue park. More images here via Contemporary Art Daily.


 Carol Bove's tableau of elements in the Flora garden of the Karlsaue Park.

Thorne continues "Highlights for me included Pierre Huyghe’s beehive-headed (Maillol?) sculpture, installed in a swampy copse and invigilated by a pink-legged dog, in earshot of an immersive, atavistic sound piece by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. [See 3D view here] More difficult to locate is a shaded house crammed full of new and old work by the Brazilian septuagenarian Anna Maria Maiolino – though it’s well worth finding."

Pierre Huyghe's "Untilled. Live things and inanimate things, made and not made" (2011–12) photographed during the opening week. An entropic gesamtkunstwerk of plants, bees, concrete, mud, plants, tree branches, bacteria, dogs, construction materials... 3D view of the piece here


 Huyghe's piece photographed 100 days after during the last week of documenta (13). 


Jerry Saltz on Huyghe's work: "If anything here will put you in a mind to give up on definitions, though, it’s Pierre Huyghe’s craterlike ruins patrolled by two dogs at the far end of the park. (...) This is a place of no-narrative, an incubation chamber of new orders." 

 Anna Maria Maiolino, "Here & there" (2012) different coloured modeled clay cover the rooms of the former gardener's house in Karlsaue park.

 Brian Jungen's "Dog Run", 2012, a play zone only permitted for dogs and their owners at Karlsaue park. [3D view here]

Also at the Karlsaue park, behind the Orangerie was one of the contributions by US artist-activists collective Critical Art Ensemble's helicopter rides, a work titled “A Public Misery Project: A Temporary Message to Global Economic Inequality”, which as described by Rachel Corbett from artnet involves:

(...) erecting a crane-sized bar graph depicting wealth disparity in America, with every 1cm representing $100 and, when it got too tall, using a helicopter to soar 225 meters up in the sky to represent, hyperbolically, the top 1%. (...) On opening day, a red carpet stretched along the grass leading the 50 people who had bought tickets for a flight. The 99%, meanwhile, could pay a coin of their choice in any currency for a lottery ticket and the chance to win a ride. Between 10 am and 8 pm, the Critical Art Ensemble planned to give about 300 rides.

Jerry Saltz wasn't at all convinced about their contribution, and labelled the work 'immoral': (...) "viewers ride in a helicopter to heights corresponding to their net worth. The work is supposedly about wealth accumulation and is an anti-market gesture. Surely it cost more to stage for a day than many museums and galleries can spend or generate in a year, or than most artists earn in a lifetime."

 
Critical Art Ensemble's “A Public Misery Project: A Temporary Message to Global Economic Inequality”.

Natascha Sadr Haghighian's "Greening the rubble of Kassel: construction work on the war debris heaped up along the Karsaue for the Federal Horticulture Show". Picture of the staircase that connects Schöne Aussicht with the Karlsaue park via an 'alternative' route on a slope. "Onomatopoeic animal sounds in different languages emanate from the bushes and trees as the visitor descends to the park. The web-based trail d(13)pfad.de is a collaboration with Pola Sieverding and accompanies the physical trail. It contains materials connecting to the rubble, the plants, the animals, the people and the languages Natascha and Pola encountered on the trail." (from D13's web)

 Jimmie Durham's "The History of Europe" (2011) in a (hot) greenhouse at Karlsaue park. 
Additional images here by Contemporary Art Daily.


 Maria Loboda's moving forest of potted cypress trees "The Work is Dedicated to an Emperor" (2012). The army of trees is being moved through the landscape during the exhibition period following different military positions, progressively conquering the Orangerie. 

Jörg Heiser's reviewed Kassel's off-the-main-site venues on frieze blog, starting with a 'heads up' around their number and distance:

Given that there are 30 documenta sites in Kassel – one of which, the vast Karlsaue park, features 53 projects alone – you might be tempted to skip these off-the-main-sites ones. Especially if you also planned to take a few weeks off and devote a lot of time and money to also visit the official documenta events scheduled to take place in Egypt, Afghanistan, and rural Canada. (There seems to be a logic of overbidding in place: not only more, but evermore remote and difficult sites; in 2002, there were documenta ‘platforms’ in Lagos or the Caribbean; in 2007, ElBulli restaurant in Spain was declared a site; so how could the director of the next documenta in 2017 top that – Antarctica? Waziristan? Chernobyl? The moon?)

(...) A few houses down the street is an elegantly modest presentation by Francis Alÿs of postcard-size paintings juxtaposing fragmented scenes from Kabul with abstract colour studies reminiscent of television test screens, testifying to doubts about the possibilities of ‘appropriately’ representing a war-torn nation but the need to still do so (while a simple note pinned to a board read, line after line, ’1943, I think about Morandi painting on top of a hill surrounded by fascism, I think about Picabia finding inspiration in soft porn magazines on the Côte d’Azur… I think about Leni Riefenstahl filming Tiefland with extras from concentration camps… I think about Blinky Palermo born in the rubbles of Leipzig…’). 

 Francis Alÿs in a former bakery in Obere Karlsstr. 4

Heiser also highlights Tacita Dean, whose "film project involving a cameraman commissioned to film in various locations in Kabul didn’t come through because the footage turned out to be flawed, but Dean made the best of it by realizing a whole set of large-scale chalk on blackboard ‘murals’ filling most walls in a former tax office space [in Spohrstr.7] dominated by a beautiful brass-railed staircase and balustrade."

Adrian Searle went on describing Dean's blackboard drawings: "(...) some are near-empty, just turbid blackness; others are filled with moiling rapids and rushing rivers. There are sunlit mountaintops, dusty avalanches, chalky wipe-outs. The six panels are a sort of storyboard, an evocation of an elsewhere. Dean's drawings are, I think, about time: geological time, the flash of a life, a passing thought."

Tacita Dean, Fatigues (2012). Blackboard-drawings in a former tax office. 
More detailed photos via Contemporary Art Daily.

Back to Heiser's words – he made his way to the vaults of a bunker underneath Kassel's vineyard terrace: "(...) Here, Allora & Calzadilla’s film Raptor’s Rapture (2012) was congenially placed: its point of departure is the unearthing, in 2009 in a cave in Southern Germany, of a flute that was carved 35000 years ago from a griffon vulture’s bone. The artists asked a flautist to try playing the flute in a studio setting confronting her with the presence of a living griffon vulture. The animal reacted rather stoically to the flautist’s systematic probing of different techniques of blowing, suggesting a time capsule being opened for the first time (the equivalent of archaeologists in the distant future retrieving data from an ancient computer hard drive). Given that the griffon vulture itself is a highly endangered species, the staging of the animal listening to an eery tune whistled on a bone of its one species nevertheless had an intentionally perverse and tautological undertone, emphasized by the slow and painstakingly precise camera work."

Christodoulos Panayiotou' "Independence Street", 2012: electricity poles and cables removed from Odos Anexartisias street in Limassol, Cyprus. "The Sea", 2012: ceramic tiles from Cyprus lined up in the exhibition space using water from the Mediterranean Sea. [3D view of this room here.]

And then concludes with a long description of his experience when seeing Jérome Bêl’s 'Disabled Theatre' (2012) performance piece which "carried all the way through 90 minutes of uneasy, preconception-probing estrangement and empathy."

The curtain opens and a stoically calm ‘instructor’ seated at the side of the stage, operating a simple p.a. system and also doubling as a translator from German into English, announces that the actors of the piece have been asked by Bel to first appear, one at a time, on stage to stand still for about a minute. The eleven protagonists do so, and after a short while it becomes clear that the title of the piece is to be taken literally: a majority of them appear to be handicapped given the physical attributes of Down Syndrome. This creates obvious unease on the part of a self-assumingly ‘intelligent’ audience in terms of staring at a supposedly ‘handicapped’ person in such a way as if subjected to enforced voyeurism. But this was only the first of five stages that gradually unravelled that very unease, however never giving in to simple comic relief, cynicism, or sentimentality. The second part again announced and explained in simple terms just as the following ones, involved a microphone stand being put up at the same spot at the centre of the stage, this time involving the protagonists giving their name, age, and profession. As for profession, all of them said “actor” – which is indeed the case, since they are members of the Zurich-based theatre group HORA. The third part involved the question of them being asked what their disability was – and they simply stated it on a spectrum from learning disability to the different terminologies of ‘Down Syndrome’, ‘Trisomy 21’, or, as one protagonist said of herself in a proud retort to medicinal as well as derogative terminology, ‘I’m a fucking mongoloid’.

The fourth and fifth part followed essentially the classic logic of climax and denouement: the fourth involved seven of the actors doing short dance performances according to their individual musical choreographical choices. (...). ‘Dancing Queen’ by Abba is a song that moves me even if it is played in a Muzak version in a hotel lobby; here the same performer who had described herself as ‘mongoloid’ danced to it with Heavy Metal dedication – the applause was roaring, and mixed feelings gave way to a momentary rush of shared enthusiasm. But the fifth and last act involved the simple question put to the performers what they thought of Bel’s piece: some simply said ‘great’ or ‘good’, while others went into detail and told little stories. One of them quoted his mother saying she thought it was a freakshow but that she liked it anyway. Another said his sister cried in the car, saying he had been put on display like in a circus. This was not just a tired exercise of deconstructive self-reflection (as is so often the case with contemporary work) but a gradual shift from the authoritative, absent voice of Bel (...) to the autonomous voices of the protagonists themselves, who elegantly frustrate precisely the freak show tendency by taking the opportunity to voice their observations or, simply, performing their very own dance. 

There is a number of artists who could learn a lesson or two from Jérôme Bel’s piece, in terms of how it doesn’t shy away from difficult confrontations and yet steers clear of simplistic demonstrations of ‘taboo-breaking’ or – equally annoying – moralist complacency. I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

When describing the effect of seeing this piece, New York Magazine Jerry Saltz wrote he "was shaken to the core by the formal and emotional pathos in Jérôme Bel’s “dance” involving people with Down syndrome who simply stood onstage, danced for two minutes, then spoke about their perceptions of us watching them. A fourth wall shattered here into a fifth dimension."



 Paul Chan's "Wht is Wht? Why the Why?", 2012, at Friedrichstrasse 28.

Afghanistan was certainly present in many of participating artists' projects. In her review 'Kabul in Kassel, Kassel in Kabul', Emily Nathan from Artnet Magazine unpacks the lingering question of “Why Afghanistan?”:

"In answer to the question, [Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev] drew a parallel between Documenta’s original founding in 1955 amidst the rubble of World War II, and Afghanistan’s current state of reconstruction, such as it is. By inserting contemporary art from the west into the mix, she said, she wanted to create a bridge between Kabul’s vibrant international past and her own present -- “to act as if the situation was not what it is, as if the barriers, the conflict, the occupation in Kabul did not exist...continuing the daily life required by and inevitable while living in a militarized zone.” 


While this act of “radical imagination” is well-intentioned, it is nonetheless problematic, and the issues it brings up about art’s instrumentalization in places of violence and injustice were the subject for the panel, which featured the likes of Chus Martinez, Giuseppe Penone, Mario Garcia Torres, Francis Alÿs, Adrian Villar Rojas and a handful of young Afghan artists who participated in the seminars. In a gesture of cultural exchange, the work they created during the workshops is on view in Kassel’s various exhibition venues for Documenta, and will also be part of a final presentation in Kabul that opens this month. 


Adrián Villar Rojas field of sculptures around Kassel's Weinberg terrassen.

 Francis Alÿs small-sized paintings exhibited in a former bakery in Obere Karlsstr. 4.

(...) Most speakers followed suit, describing how grateful they were for the resources Documenta had provided and what they had learned. But one Afghan student spoke directly. “In the past few years,” he said, “Afghanistan has been entirely shaped by an infrastructure of ‘development.’ Documenta had no such pre-conceived program in mind for us; it made no claims for success or reconstruction. I found that liberating.”

Michael Rakowitz, an artist who led a stone-carving seminar in Bamiyan near the site of the stone Buddhas destroyed in 2001, was equally frank. “To ask how art might be enlisted in the service of rebuilding the culture of a devastated land and people,” he said, is “an incredibly problematic gesture, and that is what makes it good and important.” He sourced his decision to participate in the program to the realization that not participating would be a submission to his own sense of guilt, “which is related to political correctness,” which he sees as a sort of reverse-racism.
[3D tour of his contribution here]

Michael Rakowitz space in the ground floor of the Fridericianum.
More detailed images here via Contemporary Art Daily. 


 Detail of Rakowitz's installation.

(...) Indeed, the idea of context is one of the more salient issues in Bakargiev’s exchange program, since the works were made in Afghanistan during a particular period but have been displaced to Kassel for the exhibition. How can their significance be translated?

Another Afghan artist involved with the “Archive Practicum” project (...) took the mic. (...)“It’s hard, if not impossible,” he said, “to stay out of the mess of politics and war when involved in the cultural realm; one is translated onto and into the other. But what I discovered through these seminars,” the artist said -- lapsing into the kind of vague academic jargon that is all too popular on the international art circuit -- “is that it’s not about finding the ‘appropriate’ translation for an idea or a context, but rather problematizing the translation process and making space for its contradictions and limitations.”
 
“For me,” [Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev] concluded, “the image of Morandi sitting in his studio painting vases, one after the other, with Fascism all around him -- that is what art can do.

Back to Filipa Ramos' remarks on the Hauptbahnhof:

"Into the north wing of the train station, one happens upon an installation in a house by Haris Epaminonda and Daniel Gustav Cramer offering up an equally inebriating experience through arrangements of images, texts, letters, and found objects, mostly from domestic contexts, combined with multiple projections in a chiaroscuro labyrinth of rooms. This is surely one of Epaminonda’s most complex projects up until now, and it presents itself as one of the many museum-like configurations to be seen in Kassel."

 Haris Epaminonda & Daniel Gustav Kramer in the two floors and attic of a former office building behind Kassel's Hauptbahnhof.

More Hauptbahnhof highlights, and back to Dan Fox's words:

(...) A three-channel film by Clemens von Wedemeyer (Muster (Rushes), 2012) was a sophisticated and beautifully directed look at how historical meaning is established and grows across generations; its first chapter looks at Nazi atrocities committed in an old building in Kassel, then looks at a group of young actors attempting to make radical work in that venue, followed by a group of teenagers being taken on a tour of the grounds as an audio guide tells them of the horrors that had occurred there. Also of note was Javier Téllez’s film Artaud’s Cave (2012), elaborately installed in an imitation cave-cum-Aztec temple, and made in collaboration with residents of a psychiatric hospital in Mexico City; a film that excavated Antonin Artaud’s experiences in Mexico. [Great 3D view of the cave entrance here]
  
 Still from Javier Téllez's "Artaud's Cave", 2012.

And still some more highlights:

(above and below)  Lara Favaretto's "Momentary Monument IV (Kassel)", 2012.
More detailed images of her two-part presentation here via Contemporary Art Daily. 
A great 360º panoramic view here.


 Haegue Yang's motorised Venetian blinds in Kassel's former central station. 
A lot more detailed images here by Contemporary Art Daily.

 And off-site, at the Ständehaus:

 Dora Garcia's weekly TV show 'Klau Mich' (die Kalu Mich Show) studio. 
Fully comprehensive website here (with videos, agenda, blog...).

 Xabier Salaberria (although not listed as D13 participant) design for the Absolute bar at the foyer of the Ständehaus. [Panoramic view here]

One final observation from Quinn Latimer's review on Art Agenda:


"(...) despite the attention fostered by both Christov-Bakargiev herself and her critics on her vaunted interest in the nonhuman world, what I found most startling about Documenta 13 was how entirely human it was, and how engaged with the world that we (joyfully, sorrowfully, weirdly) inhabit. If that sounds lamely human-centric and passé, so be it. It’s a deeply intelligent, stringent, surprising, and entirely committed (yes, that word again) showing of the potentiality of private lives accorded the most public of stages."


And, more final statements by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev when interviewed by Rotterdam artists Bik Van der Pol: (...) "In order for democracy to move forward, we have to constitute the subject as a subject and give up any pretension of ownership and exclusivity that we might have about subjectivity. It is about empowering, and the right to determine the environment in which we all live."


More photo reports via Contemporary Art Daily and Flash Art online and Universes in Universe and preview videos via Vernissage TV and b
elow our slideshow with over 200 pictures:



All photos: Latitudes | www.lttds.org

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Slideshow of Documenta 12, Kassel



All images: Latitudes | www.lttds.org




On documenta 12, Saab and the list of participating artists

documenta 12 artistic Director Roger M. Buergel on the Saab 9-3 Convertible.



"Real coolness comes from within: on the outside, my car shows the formal elegance and effortlessness of a white cloud."

And here is the suspected artist list, now also on the German documenta 12 wikipedia page, uncovered a few weeks ago by artnet's Ludwig Seyfarth's detective work.

Ferran Adrià, Saâdane Afif, Ai Wei Wei, Eleanor Antin, Ibon Aranberri, Monika Baer, Maija Bajevic, Yael Bartana, Ricardo Basbaum, Johanna Billing, Cosima von Bonin, Trisha Brown, James Coleman, Alice Creischer, Ines Doujak, Lukas Duwenhögger, Harun Farocki, Peter Friedl, Andrea Geyer, Sheela Gowda, Simryn Gill, Dimitrij Gutow, Sanja Ivekovic, Emily Jacir, Amar Kanwar, Abdoulaye Konaté, Jirí Kovanda, Zofia Kulik, Louise Lawler, Zoe Leonard, Churchill Madikida, Olga Neuwirth, J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, Charlotte Posenenske, Florian Pumhösl, Yvonne Rainer, Gerhard Richter, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Martha Rosler, Sakarin Krue-On, Dierk Schmidt, Allan Sekula, Ahlam Shibli, Andreas Siekmann / Christian von Borries, Nedko Solakov, Jo Spence, Hito Steyerl, Jürgen Stollhans, Alina Szapocznikow, Imogen Stidworthy, Lidwien van de Ven, Simon Wachsmuth, Xie Nanxing and Artur Zmijewski.




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