Posted on August 20, 2012 by Emilia Garcia Romeu

I had heard that dOCUMENTA (13) was gigantic, confusing, and megalomaniac; that it was full of grief and suffering; and that it was the most commercial edition ever, for most works were financed by major international galleries. Although these statements might be partially true (the presence of big galleries is pervasive; the show certainly huge; and trauma ubiquitous), I just loved it. To me, this edition is an exciting, profound, and consistent reflection on the role of object in memory and history. And it works quite well. Despite its multiple venues, in Kassel, dOCUMENTA (13)‘s main exhibitions are held at the Friedricianum and the Hauptbahnhof (the old railway station).


The show at the Friedricianum focuses on the presence and materiality of the (art) object, stressing qualities such as tactility, surface, and process, while propitiating an intimate relation vis á vis the beholder. The circumstances and conditions of creation of these objects are often quite extreme, so that they appear to have functioned (and maybe still do) as talismans or vehicles for processing unbearable experiences. Continue Reading →