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Wednesday 07.25.12

« Discussion on KBOO | Main | RIP Franz West »

Documenta 13 Photoblog Part I

It seems like a lot of Portlanders have made the trek to see Documenta 13 this year, but for those who can't we have you covered. Generally it is billed as the least commercial of all the big art festivals... if you believe that? Really, it is just drier than the competition for attention that is Venice etc. and it only has one curator, rather than a polyphony of curatorial voices.

Since everyone can't go, Portlander and East-West project alum Damien Gilley (during his residency in Europe) took a couple of hundred good photos to share with PORT's readers. It dovetails nicely with the simmering discussion about Portland's approach to international level expectations for art, awards, grants, presentation and the overall support of excellence that has been going on for the past week too.

I always find the presentation and overall intellectual tenor to be the most interesting thing in these Big-ennials. Not that everything here is brilliant, just that a general awareness of events like Documenta in Kassel Germany is a good thing, perhaps next time some Portlanders will be exhibiting? ... as perhaps the first US City to grow up on a civic level, some of our artists are doing things that in many ways competes with and or is far ahead of what I see here (not that there isn't a lot to learn from here). Enjoy Part I and feel free to comment or ask questions about various images (I'll try to dig up answers):

Fabio Mauri makes the most of the floors (all photos Damien Gilley)

all_Thomas Bayrle_sm.jpg
The epic scale of Thomas Bayrle's installation keeps up the Documenta tradition

Documenta gets in on the Occupy thing...?

Lots of book art like this installation by Amar Kanwar

mar_ dion_overall_P_sm.jpg
According to Gilley, Mark Dion's installation was one of the standouts

Detail of Mark Dion's installation

Charlotte Salomon (the popular tree art motif)

Anri Sala

Adrian Villar Rojas' epic scaled installation making use of another Documenta tradition, engaging enormous non white box gallery spaces. Kassel was the seat of German Kings so there is an imperial air about the place which artists often feed off of

Adrian Villar Rojas

adr+¬°an villar rojas4_sm.jpg
Adrian Villar Rojas

adr_an_villar rojas6_sm.jpg
Adrian Villar Rojas

alighiero _boetti_spelling_sm.jpg
Alighiero Boetti has made a career out of taking an international outlook. I'd typify the view as; the artists are the citizen's of the world first, wherever they are second... It's a very continental European attitude that translates nicely to the entire planet and Documenta reflects this.

Allora and Calzadilla's video

And And And

Cael Foyer

Art in bunkers, another Documenta trademark

bookstore in container structure

Christian Phillip Muller

Clair Pentacost

Some very official looking installations

fion_ hall_inside_house_sm.jpg
Fiona Hall's work looking somewhat less official

Francis Alys

Geoffrey Farmer, one of the standout artists

(There is much more. Stay tuned for Part II and eventually Part III)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 25, 2012 at 16:15 | Comments (1)


The Adrian Villar Rojas work was fantastic and one of the best experiences of viewing work I have had. As was Walid Raad's work and presentation.

Posted by: Mack McFarland [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 27, 2012 10:52 AM

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