Enjoying the experience of viewing dOCUMENTA13, the work of more than 180 artists exhibited over 30 venues in Kassel, Germany from June 9 to Sept. 16, takes patience and planning. The most important thing is to enjoy what you do see, even if you can’t take it all in.
You can focus on particular artists that interest you, or just visit one venue a day and go until your feet and brain tire. Whatever approach you take, remember to spend as much time as you want at works that interest you, and feel no guilt at moving quickly along past those that do not capture your imagination. Nobody is going to be equally fascinated by everything.
To ensure your comfort as you ignite your imagination, remember that the outdoor exhibition spaces cover large spaces. Wear good walking shoes and carry a lightweight jacket to adjust to weather changes. There are places to purchase water and snacks, and it is advisable to take breaks to allow the images to solidify in your mind.
See other attractions
Veteran visitors suggest placing a time limit on how long you want to spend each day at the sites. Stop when you complete your plan, and leave yourself lots of time to see many of Kassel’s other attractions. Pick up maps at the start of your day, and don’t hesitate to consult with guides along the way, the majority of which speak English.
At the end of each venue visit, allow some time to quietly meditate and remember what you have seen, re-visualizing it in your mind. That will ensure art that was especially appealing stays in your memory. (Edith Robb)
About the author: Edith Robb is an award-winning freelance writer specializing in travel and culture. Canadian by birth, she now lives half of each year in the United States and travels extensively, including making several trips to Germany in preparation for dOCUMENTA13. She has worked on many travel publications, including Back Roads and Getaway Places for Reader’s Digest and Guide to Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada for Fodor’s Travel Guides. She has a Master of Arts degree with a major in cultural studies.
Hours of operation: Venues are open June 9 to Sept. 16 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Admission: Tickets are $20 Euros for one day, $35 Euros for two, $100 for a season’s pass, and $10 Euros for after 5 p.m.
Main Venue: Fridericianum
Address: Friedrichsplatz 18, 34117 Kassel. Tram number 1,3,4,5,6,8, Rt 5. Stop: Friedrichsplatz .
This is the main venue. Completed in 1779, the building was conceived as one of the first public European museums and held the collection of the Hessian Earl and the baronial library. It has 3,200 square meters of exhibition space.
Outdoor exhibition ground: Karlsaue
Address: An der Karlsaue 20, 34121 Kassel. Tram number 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8. Stop: Friedrichsplatz. This is an outdoor exhibit ground sprawling over a 125-acre site. The gardens date back to 1586. Sculptures are set up in front of an ancient Orangerie.
Cinema: Artists films will be shown at the Gloria Cinema
Address: Friedrich-Ebert-Strafe3, 34117 Kassel. Tram number 4, 7 and 8. Stop: Standeplatz. Built in 1953-54, the cinema was one of the first buildings to be reconstructed post war. It has a prominent round chandelier and matched wall lighting typical of its era.