The Artwork Angle Podcast: How Documenta Turned the World’s Most Controversial Artwork Present

Welcome to the Artwork Angle, a podcast from Artnet Information that delves into the locations the place the artwork world meets the true world, bringing every week’s largest story right down to earth. Be part of us each week for an in-depth have a look at what issues most in museums, the artwork market, and rather more, with enter from our personal writers and editors, in addition to artists, curators, and different prime consultants within the subject.


How a lot can an artwork present do?

That’s a query on the coronary heart of Documenta, the sprawling exhibition that touches down in Kassel, Germany, each 5 years. Generally known as a “museum in 100 days,” the present commonly attracts thousands and thousands of holiday makers from around the globe. However it’s removed from a impartial celebration of up to date artwork.

Based in 1955, the present was conceived as a option to regenerate Kassel, which was nonetheless in ruins after World Warfare II. However it had broader political goals, too: to challenge West Germany’s alliance with liberal values and assist unfold these values to close by East Germany throughout the Chilly Warfare.

Since its inception, Documenta has melded artwork and politics greater than nearly another exhibition on this planet. So it’s not stunning that its historical past has been marked by controversy. From hidden Nazi ties to funding crises, the present has stirred up dispute after dispute. And this 12 months isn’t any totally different, because the present’s curators, the Indonesian artwork collective ruangrupa, face allegations of anti-Semitism because of the political affiliations of a number of the artists included within the present.

When the fifteenth Documenta opens subsequent week, it’s going to current the work of greater than 50 artists and collectives. Artnet Information govt editor Julia Halperin sat down with Europe editor Kate Brown to discover this important present’s turbulent historical past—and maybe even extra turbulent current.



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