Documenta and Kassel - September 2017

Dear friends,

Documenta is held every 5 years, we had been once before, five years ago, and were very impressed.

One of our favorite pieces at Documenta. There were 2 of these wrapped towers, across the street from each other.

Check Point Sekondi Loco, 1901-2030 by Ibraham Mahama of Tamale, Ghana, 2016-17
Charcoal sacks, scrap metal, tarpaulins, metal tags, and leather from Henschel train interior

A great picture from Documenta's web site showing the jute sacks being assembled, all 1729 square meters of them.

Lines to get into the Palais Bellevue. The Neue Galerie is directly behind. The last time we were at Documenta there were no lines anywhere. This year’s (or this quinquennial’s) is much more heavily attended, but perhaps that is because we are here on the last weekend before closing.

Guillermo Galindo pieces created with the artist at Magnolia Editions on castoff and donated refugee possessions. These are refugees entering Greece.

They seemed to be sort of jumping the gun here, taking down Marta Minujin’s Parthenon of Books before Documenta was over. It turned out the books, wrapped in plastic, were being given away to those interested. We saw a long line of people waiting for one.

This is a photo from the web

Incredible carved marble tent
Biinjiya’iing Onji (From inside, 2017) by Rebecca Belmore, Canada
140 × 200 × 200 cm
Fabricated by the studio of Vangelis Ilias
Work travels to Kassel after the exhibition in Athens closes on July 16

This is a photo of a photo of how this piece looked installed in Greece.

Girls just want to have fun.

The Fridericianum Gallery (below)

In the lobby of the Fridericianum, an animated projection.

A flasher.

A large exhibit by Lucas Samaras; one of many assemblages.

Borrowing Lucas Samaras' piece for a selfie.

A cool piece which Daniel our AirBnB host in Kassel told us about, done in 1994. The artist, Janine Antoni, slept while an EEG recorded her brain waves and her dreams. Then during the day, she wove the EEG readings, which she later slept under at night.

Janine Antoni
(b. 1964, Freeport, Bahamas)
Slumber (1994)
Maple loom, wool yarn, bed, EEG machine, artist’s REM reading on computer paper, seven nightgowns woven into a 126-feet blanket
Dimensions variable
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), donated by the Dakis Joannou Collection in 2014
Fridericianum, Kassel

Ms. Antoni turns out to be the same artist who created the pee funnel gargoyle which I loved some years back and was featured in an earlier NY blog.

Moving on from Fridericianum to Documenta Halle

Mask within a mask (Inuit, I believe)

Don in front of Guillermo Galindo’s boat instruments/sculptures

A page from the magazine Art Speziale, Documenta 14, showing Guillermo in a performance.

Another look at the wrapped towers

Pano of the Kassel skyline

Roger Bernat's the Oath Stone

Roger Bernat‘s 110-pound, plastic and fiberglass replica of an ancient Greek monolith known as the oath stone, upon which council members once swore their vows.
Okay. I had to try it.

Showing off my great strength. It turns out that this slab of faux rock was the star of a video. It was kidnapped by an LFBTQ group of art protestors and refugees in Athens, taken to different locations on its way from Athens to Kassel, and where it had different adventures; somewhat like the traveling garden troll. At least, this is what I was told by the strong man in the first photograph who seemed to be knowledgeable on the subject. 

I think I did strain some muscles in my right arm, but nothing serious.

Here’s a link to an article with a slightly different version:

Walking in the park near our apartment.

Urban gardens on the walk back. These are not humble dwellings, but seem to be elaborate garden sheds.

I wonder why I did not take some photos of the apartment, as it was absolutely charming in an old building which had been refurbished.

This is the only photo I have, one of the walls of the bedroom. Daniel, the owner of the apartment, works at one of the museums in Kassel, and was taking off to Southern France for 3 weeks.

The next day Kassel was almost empty of art lovers and tourists. Really, I don’t know how they moved them out so fast. Nothing left to do, but start breaking it all down and scraping the “Documenta” signs off the floor.

As for us, we are off to Berlin.


Era and Don