July 10, 2009 - Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art - d documenta
July 10, 2009

d documenta

Installation view of documenta II with works by Julio Gonzalez, 1959
On the left: “L’ANGE”, 1933
On the right: “TÊTE DITE PLATE”, 1930
Photographer: unknown
Bequest of Arnold Bode
Courtesy documenta Archiv

d documenta – a conference towards documenta 13
18 September 2009, 10am – 1pm and 2.30pm – 6.30pm
19 September 2009, 11am – 1pm and 2.30pm – 6.30pm


The d documenta is a two-day conference which has the goal to provide a forum of discussion and reflection on the history of documenta, its various incarnations and its future.

documenta has come to represent a key periodic moment when contemporary art is exhibited and those who are interested in art as well as in its relation to the world meet, assess the situation and share their views. For those involved in organising the next documenta, the journey publicly begins on September 18th, 2009.

The speakers invited to this event are the artistic directors of all the preceding editions of documenta. Each former director has been asked to make a presentation about their documenta by first describing the sense of the present they felt at the time of the project they organised: How did they feel present to their time, what did that mean and how did that inform the strategies they employed, the decisions they took? Second, they have been asked to outline, in retrospect, what they might have done differently – in light of what happened in the world of art and in the world at large subsequent to their documenta.

The Castello di Rivoli and documenta 13 are grateful that all the former directors, as representatives of the artists and the curatorial teams who together conceived, imagined, witnessed and dreamed documenta, have accepted the invitation and will reflect upon their ideas and experiences.

When documenta was conceived in the early 1950s, it was a direct response to the “degenerate art” politics of the Third Reich. Therefore, contrary to other periodic international exhibitions which have emerged from the world fair models of the 19th century, it is characterised by a theoretical grounding and a sense of the urgency of art in society. Today no less than 50 years ago.

The choice of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, as the ideal location for this conference, is due to the particular circumstance that the museum’s first director, Rudi Fuchs, was also Artistic Director of documenta 7 in 1982, and that today, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Chief Curator since 2001 and interim artistic director of the Castello di Rivoli in 2009, has been nominated the Artistic Director of documenta 13, which will be held in 2012 in Kassel. “documenta 13 – says Christov-Bakargiev – is being developed from an archeological perspective, according to which every cultural project that moves forward must be grounded on a backwards gaze, in an ecological relationship to the past. How was the present imagined in the second half of the 20th century and what was considered urgent at each successive edition of the exhibition?” At the same time, she is “…personally committed to the illogical, the playful and the poetic, to the celebration of works of art, as well as to the participation and singular experience of those who attend an event like documenta“.

This conference attempts to bring the past, present, and future of documenta into one room, in dialogue, and we invite those who are interested to join us.

The speakers are:
Heiner Georgsdorf, Speaker of the Board of Trustees of the Arnold-Bode- Foundation, and friend of Arnold Bode.
With reference to documenta, 1955, II.documenta, 1959, documenta III, 1964, 4.documenta, 1968, directed by A. Bode.
Walter Grasskamp, Chair of Art History in the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich. With reference to documenta, 1955; II. documenta, 1959; documenta III, 1964; 4.documenta, 1968.
Jean-Christophe Ammann, part of the ‘Work group’ that curated documenta 5, 1972, directed by Harald Szeemann.
Manfred Schneckenburger, Artistic Director of documenta 6, 1977
and documenta 8, 1987.
Rudi Fuchs, Artistic Director of documenta 7, 1982.
Jan Hoet, Artistic Director of documenta IX, 1992.
Catherine David, Artistic Director of documenta X, 1997.
Okwui Enwezor, Artistic Director of documenta 11, 2002.
Roger M. Buergel, Artistic Director of documenta 12, 2007.
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Artistic Director of documenta 13, 2012.

General Information

All lectures and discussions will be recorded and published electronically.

Attendance to the conference is free but seating is limited.
Booking essential by August 5, 2009.
To reserve your seat please fill out the application form available on the website www.castellodirivoli.org and www.documenta.de
The application form (one per person) must be completed and sent to r.aghemo@castellodirivoli.org
For further booking information: + 39 011 9565270, Email r.aghemo@castellodirivoli.org

For Press and Public Relations information concerning the d documenta conference:

Massimo Melotti, Press and Public Relations
Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea
Piazza Mafalda di Savoia – 10098 Rivoli (Turin)
Tel. + 39 011 9565209 – Fax +39 011 9565231
Email press@castellodirivoli.org

Markus Müller, Head of Communication
documenta 13
Friedrichsplatz 18
34117 Kassel
Tel + 49 561 707270 – Fax + 49 561 7072739
Email press@documenta.de

The d documenta conference is organised by Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rivoli-Turin and documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH, Kassel, in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Turin, and with further support from IFA –Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen e.V.

Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea

Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art
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