Documenta 15, should everything be thrown away?

As often happens at large events, the best comes last.
In Kassel, on the other hand, the “beautiful” (quotation marks are obligatory, because the aesthetics here are more than cheap) is found on the outskirts.
In fact, there are more than thirty venues which will host the fifth anniversary until September 25, spread across the four cardinal points of the German city.
Worth noting, in the Bettenhausen area, is the old factory in Agathofstrasse, Hübner-Areal: here you can meet the African sounds of Fondation Festival sur le Niger (when the performances are in progress) and a wall of puppets to lose their minds. It is a pity that – always hitting where the tooth hurts – more than art it is anthropology, ethnography and once again a well-colonialist look at a postcard diversity consisting of the transient amazement reserved for distant cultures and then returning to your daily life. routine.

Fondation Festival sur le Niger, Yaya Coulibaly, The Wall of Puppets, 2022, Hübner Areal, Kassel, Photo: Maja Wirkus

Yes, it’s similar to surgery Lumbung is a kind of return ticket with the ability to store a large amount of local handicrafts: As the Ruangrupas and their practice arrived in Germany, they will return from Germany and there will probably be nothing left as a gift to the city. The second opinion is that – according to this document – a new “oceanism” will invade the global art market, and the game of leveling out the differences will be published as a kind of poetic question as to the means used to construct one’s art.
Returning to the Hübner-Areal, it is worth spending some time in the basement: here is the work Amol K Patilan installation consisting of three tanks of living earth, whose breath poetically reminds us that we are children of the same universe without the need for distortions and linguistic means, and the small bronze sculptures placed side by side with small canvases arranged by the rough concrete walls in this old building.

Amol K Patil at Hübner-Areals, © Uwe Zucchi / dpa

In various places in Documenta – from the garden in front of Documenta Halle to the outside of the old Hallenbad Ost swimming pool (also in the Bettenhausen area) there are hardcards of Serigrafistas QueerLGBTQ + protest collective born in Argentina in 2007 after the protests in the South American country, including rainbow flags and symbols of peace, political leaders, religious figures and so on and so forth, to collect well what is left of the rainbow production that is more angry .
Being thrown away, like the rest of the camp in the Sanderhaus hostel’s disused outdoor area, is always a step away: being together does not necessarily mean appearing as the last in the community and adapting to the ugly. Especially since in theory we will be talking about art in the West’s most noble manifestation, or at least what’s left of it.

Serigrafistas Queer project in the Sanderhaus garden. Ph. Uwe Zucchi / dpa

In Nordstadt, an area north of the city, in a small city park Jumana Emil Abboud he created a small bridge crossing to cross a canal that smells of sewage: Ideal for resting on the tree trunks planted there as seats.
It is better to go back to the center, to Rondell, an old tower on the banks of the Fulda, where the Vietnamese artist Nguyen Trinh Thi re-elaborates with music and projections a hybridization of nature between his homeland and Germany, with the tones of the flutes played in the mountain communities of the northern part of the Asian country. The shadows of the chili forest give a sense of peace in the slightly off topic correria these days.
Off topic, of course, because according to the creators of Documenta, rest is necessary, and even in the less common places, there are relaxation areas where visitors can devote a few minutes, or hours, “off” between sofas and recycled armchairs. In the park Karslaeu there is also the forest tent The Intermundiale Holobiente: a lovely tromp-l’œil environmental.

the torch by Nino Bulling

At 76 Hafenstrasse, in a landscape of pure German suburbs made up of department stores and hardware stores, there is another place worth seeing, if only for the absurdity of some works, such as the photo novel. Borrowed faces created by the Berlin collective Fehras Publishing Practices: here, three men disguised as women tell the feminist resistance through the fictional story of the publications that took shape in the Middle East (especially in Lebanon) during the Cold War. An idea so absurd that it seems to be perfect in this forest of good intentions.

Those who were swept away by the water / rose like clouds, by Alif Kaaf and Khaled Muzher

Here are also “comics” by the non-binary artist Nino Bullingwhich tells of loves born and ended over the course of a year between protagonists apparently from the undefined genre.
Here again, as you walk from room to room, you discover a drawing room that is open to adults and children, complete with A4s hanging on the walls – just like in a kindergarten classroom – and among participating installations, where spectators in return for an ice cream asked to rewrite at will the measurements of a meter – yes, the one to measure the walls on construction sites – whether this disposal of genres sooner or later does not also help to change the passage of time and the rules of physics to make us immortal (as De Dominicis wrote in 1971 …), we meet a work so sweetly poetic and useless that it has been placed in a hidden corner: it is called Those who were swept away by the water / rose like clouds. Made by Alif Kaaf And Khaled Muzher (* foundationClass * collective) is a looped projection of a sunrise and sunset that is reflected on some glass fragments, which – mechanically – are made to resonate with each other in a kinetic shadow play. No social manipulation, apparently. The best, actually.
So should this Documenta all be thrown away? After all, we did not regret stopping in Kassel: it was curious how to eat a pizza in broth – just to make a comparison that could be linked to the joint activity of the food ritual: once enough and more.

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