“Hopefully they at least find oil”, wrote a visitor to the documenta 6 on the vertical Earth Kilometer by Walter De Maria. "Nonsense," another commented. Similarly critical reacted visitors to Ilya Kabakov's "toilet", a room-filling installation, the artist presented in the 1992 Documenta IX.
50 years of Documenta can just well mean: 50 years of discussions about art.
The HNA editor Dirk Schwarze, handles in his series "50 Years documenta" the controversial, ground breaking and wonderful works of eleven exhibitions. The 50 episodes are now available as a book. What makes the documenta so attractive? Dirk Schwarze gets to the bottom of this question.
In each chapter, he recounts each documenta, naming facts and figures and presents the most important works. Christo und Jeanne-Claudes „5600 Kubikmeter Paket“(5600 cubic meters package) (documenta 4, 1968), Claes Oldenburgs „Spitzhacke“(pick) (documenta 7, 1982) und Werner Tübkes „Lebenserinnerungen des Dr. jur. Schulze III“(Memoirs of Dr. jur. Schulze III )(documenta 6, 1977) bringing them back to life. Schwarze brings back the memory of these works, describes them and provides background details.
His book is not only appealing to the documenta-experienced readers. He introduced the concept of each exhibition and makes clear how the documenta has evolved since its beginnings in the fifties, and why its the world's leading forum for contemporary art. (Pamela de Filippo)
Dirk Schwarze: Meilensteine: 50 Jahre documenta, Bostelmann & Siebenhaar Verlag, Berlin, 192 pages, 19,80 Euro, ISBN: 3-936962-23-5.