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dOCUMENTA (13): Thoughts

23 October 2012

In July two members of the Willis Newson team attended dOCUMENTA (13), the hugely influential exhibition and cultural event held every five years in Kassel, Germany.  They returned with reports of inspirational work from artists including Etel Adnan, Mika Tannila, Mariana Castillo Deball, Kader Attia and Yan Lei – among many others. It provoked discussion here about the role of the curator as artist and the importance of curatorial collaboration and dialogue with artists.  It also made us think again how artists can respond to sites rather than simply place artworks in them. 

Amongst work with notably high quality implementation and production values, we saw a major interest in the transformation of objects and the monumentalisation of the common-place object, in socially engaged practice, interactivity and in the use of the moving image and mixed media. Few British artists featured, and there was also an absence of colour and paint.  The whole event was a treasure trove of ideas and provocations and a reminder of how important and refreshing it is to see and experience artworks in the flesh rather than second-hand. Find out more about dOCUMENTA here.