First day at dOCUMENTA(13) has been spent in visits to exhibition spaces in Fridericianum and Karlsaue. Second day has started off by visit to documenta-Halle. Built in 1992 by Jan Hoet and with its large walls and spacious halls, it has been a known challenge to most exhibition curators ever since. This year the critics were very positive about the visual fit of artworks in the exhibition space.
For example, we all loved four paintings of Julie Mehretu, an Ethiopian-born artist, famous for her large-scale architectural abstract paintings, where she and her team layer the drawings on several transparent media and combine them together to create a metaphoric story.
An interesting story was waiting for us in another room: Yan Lei had painted intuitively 360 paintings for 360 days of Chinese calendar and all of these mass-media images were found in internet. Some of them were hanging on walls and from ceiling and some of them were racked in storage. During the 100 days of dOCUMENTA, the paintings are serially brought to a nearby car plant and painted over by a monochrome paint and then brought back to the exhibition space. In this way, Yan Lei creates a feeling of ‘finiteness’ in time, but also preserving them by sealing the paintings under the car paint itself.
Nalini Malani used an irregularly shaped storage room to show her video and light installation that reflects on human nature, evil in people and how and why it develops.
We continued to Neue Gallerie, where we had chance to see an interesting 3D collage by Geoffrey Farmer, showing LIFE magazine cut-outs from 1935-1985. It represents a visual history reflecting American self-identity in past era. Its title is an homage to Walt Whitman famous poem.
One can truly appreciate the content and all energy and thoughts of dOCUMENTA only by paying a visit. I have ended mine by Kulturbahnhof and I am aware that many were left in the city of Kassel that I still need to see. Kulturbahnhof, a deserted building of a railway station, impressed me by the open and inviting space, truly amazing in its rawness – perfect place to exhibit contemporary art! William Kentridge was my last stop there: his 5-channel projection and a breathing machine was telling you a story of time, in a high-pitched voice, video and accompanying music. A show that could go on and on and that you could not stop watching – just like dOCUMENTA.
dOCUMENTA(13) will end 16.09.2012.