Logo: Stadt Kassel

documenta 14

The documenta 15 will take place from 18. June till 25. September 2018 in Kassel.

documenta-opening; © Stadt Kassel; Foto: Harry Soremski

documenta 14 makes an impressive start in Kassel

June 10th: documenta 14 has arrived in Kassel and, over the next 100 days, life in the city will be coloured by contemporary art and guests from around the world. During the spectacular opening, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier highlighted the following: “Art is political and has to be it, without being exploited. Its freedom is maintained”
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Adam Szymczyk; © Stadt Kassel; Foto: Harry Soremski

documenta 14 distinguishes Kassel for 100 days –
documenta has been distinguishing Kassel for more than 60 years

June 7th: Today’s press conference preceding documenta 14 will once again turn Kassel into a focal point of contemporary art and internationality, for exactly 100 days. The exhibition will officially be opened Saturday, 10th June 2017 in the presence of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.  
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Graffiti in Athens; © Stadt Kassel; Foto: Wagener

Art brings people together

April 6th:Art brings people together. documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel creates a bridge and a previously unknown form of community between our cities though the medium of art," Bertram Hilgen, Lord Mayor of Kassel, and Yiorgos Kaminis, Mayor of Athens, declared just prior to the opening of documenta 14 on April 8th in Athens.
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Kassel and Athens: Doubling the documenta perspective

After opening in the Greek capital, the circle will now close here in Kassel, and will manifest to visitors the complete perspective on this year’s exhibition. Lord Mayor Hilgen: "Doubling the documenta perspective by allowing it to unfold in both Athens and Kassel has increased media interest, to a hitherto unknown degree. A great variety of locations in two cities offer opportunities to discourse with the curatorial team’s theses.”  

Using the medium of contemporary art, documenta 14 has managed to construct a bridge and to create a previously unexperienced sense of unity between the two cities. "Art brings people together”, this was a joint statement by Lord Mayor Hilgen and Yiorgos Kaminis, Mayor of Athens, at the occasion of the documenta 14 opening in Athens, on 14th April 2017. They also unanimously emphasized the great opportunities, which had opened up for both Kassel and for Athens. Antecedent meetings in preparation of the exhibition had fostered communication on municipal levels, and had created mutual esteem and trust.  

A Parthenon for Kassel and the "Cradle of documenta" 
The "Parthenon of Books” by Marta Minujín, a replica of the Athens original at a scale of 1:1 has been constructed on central Friedrichsplatz and will house currently and formerly banned books, symbolizing the meeting of antiquity and classicism. The historic building of the Fridericianum, the very first museum open to the public on the European continent, is also considered the "Cradle of documenta” and has for the past 60 years been its primary exhibition venue. Here too, documenta 14 establishes a connection to Athens: as a very central cooperative project with the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in Athens, Adam Szymczyk will be showing part of the EMST’s permanent collection at the Fridericianum.  

documenta-city of Kassel – a notable cultural centre 
Numerous outdoor works of art, a range of interior exhibition venues in various neighbourhoods, performances and pop-up restaurants and bars will for 100 days infuse the city with an international flair. Residents and guests have come to enjoy this lively and exciting atmosphere, even though Kassel has long since shed its reputation as being the somewhat sleepy centre of North Hesse. As Lord Mayor Hilgen says: "We do not have to do without this vibrant atmosphere in the five years between documenta-exhibitions. North Hesse used to bring up the rear, culturally, but these days are long gone.”  

This former landgraves‘ residence and electorate is full of historical art, which today blends with a lively art and cultural scene. In recent years, Kassel experienced a dynamic economic upswing, and has developed into one of Germany’s most impressive cultural sites. It is home to independent creative initiatives, established urban art institutions, an impressive range of museums as well as an art academy that has spawned several Oscar winners. The baroque Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is a World Heritage Site, and the new GRIMM WORLD, a museum dedicated to the Brothers Grimm, has turned the city into Germany’s modern Grimm capital.  

Kasselkultur2017 – an exciting calendar of events during the 2017-documenta-year
As usual, hosting documenta encourages the town and its residents to come up with an exciting accompanying programme. Far more than 1,000 cultural projects and events from a wide range of genres make up the core of Kasselkultur 2017, a calendar listing cultural events during the 2017-documenta- year. All the way into December, visitors and residents can choose from an impressive programme of events, ranging from classic formats to experimental culture, off the beaten tracks.  

documenta Archive, documenta Institute and a documenta-professorship 
A unique treasure trove of publicly accessible sources on contemporary art is the documenta Archive, which was inspired by Arnold Bode. It provides insights on central aspects of documenta exhibition history, touching on art, history, society and politics. The Archive was founded in 1961, and houses a file archive including a wealth of documenta-related correspondence, a large specialty library, as well as an extensive collection of press-clippings, images and audio-visual documents. Over the years, several important bequests have added to the valuable collection.  

With the support of the Federal State and the State of Hesse, the University of Kassel and documenta gGmbH are on their way to establishing a documenta Institute. It will be dedicated to researching documenta as a cultural heritage of international importance, with special emphasis on its history, as well as issues within the context of global curatorial practice concerning contemporary art.  

Prof. Dr. Nora Sternfeld (born 1976) is the new documenta Professor at the Kassel School of Art and Design, a part of the University of Kassel. The University of Kassel has thus selected a figure with a strong reputation in the international art world for this position in good time prior to the beginning of documenta 14. "I see one of the most important aims of my research work as positioning Kassel as an internationally relevant location for exhibition theory and practice, also in the periods between the exhibitions which occur here every five years," Sternfeld announced.  

The University of Kassel supports and accompanies documenta 14 with numerous projects and events; some documenta exhibits even include university students and scientists as active participants. In addition, several university premises will be used as exhibition areas.  

documenta as an image and economic factor 
Over the years, documenta has indisputably become an important image and economic factor in Kassel. Widely known as it is, its effects are recognizable both externally as well as internally. While employing a staff of several hundred, the documenta also contracts the services of numerous local businesses and companies. Hotels, restaurants and the retail sector profit from visitors, which numbered approximately 900,000 for documenta 13.  

Lord Mayor Hilgen: "Since 1955, documenta has again and again fascinated the international art world, inviting art lovers to come and see for themselves. It may well be that documenta 14 with its twofold structure will attract even more people than any previous exhibition.”

Accomodation may be booked online www.kassel-marketing.de/en/home

For assistance with hotel reservations, please contact Kassel Marketing GmbH or the Tourist Information
+49 561 707 707

Tourist Information at the Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe station: Willy-Brandt-Platz 1, 34131 Kassel.
Opening hours: M­onday–Friday 10 am­–1 pm and 2–6 pm; Saturday 10 am–2 pm.
From June 9 to September 17, 2017: Monday–Sunday 9 am–7 pm.

Tourist Information City Center: Wilhelmstraße 23, 34117 Kassel.
Opening hours: Monday–Saturday 10 am–6 pm.
From June 9 to September 17, 2017: Monday–Sunday 9 am–7 pm.

Further information

Institution: documenta and Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH
Phone: +49 561 70 72 70
Fax: +49 561 70 72 739
E-Mail: office@documenta.de
Address: Friedrichsplatz 18
34117 Kassel
Public transport: Timetable
City map: Location in city map
Internet: www.documenta14.de/en
Symbol of documenta 14 - oul; © documenta14


The documenta exhibition in Kassel is famous worldwide. The world’s most important exhibition of contemporary art attracts huge crowds of visitors from different countries. Every five years the documenta puts on an exhibition of contemporary trends in modern art as well as providing a forum for new exhibition concepts.

Who would have dreamt the documenta would become so successful when the first exhibition, devised by Arnold Bode, was opened in 1955? Among the ruins of the Fridericianum Museum, which was destroyed during WW2, Bode presented exhibits depicting the development of fine art at the beginning of the 20th century which were banned from exhibition during the Nazi regime.

The 1955 exhibition deliberately emphasized the pan-European phenomenon of Modern Classicism. Today, the documenta continues to bring together a range of artistic worlds, thereby also contributing to the history of art. 

Logo Kassel and Athens; © Stadt Kassel; City of Athens

Veröffentlicht am:   26. 07. 2018  


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