The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist

The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist


November 2, 2003

The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist
July and December 2003

e-flux projects

e-flux is pleased to present the second installment of:
The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist
with contributions by: Joseph Grigely, Tim Lee, Federico Herrero, Ken Lum, Elmgreen & Dragset, Martha Rosler, John Miller, Tino Sehgal, Markus Schinwald.

Curated by Jens Hoffmann


In the second issue of The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist, Joseph Grigely discusses how a global exhibition like Documenta might explore the intricacies of how individual artists approach their own aesthetic activity; Tim Lee proposes that a Documenta would include humor as the primary agent for social commentary; Federico Herrero says a doctor could curate it too, Ken Lum ponders if artists should be curators and art critics; Elmgreen & Dragset muse whether Documenta would get spiced up a bit if it took place in Venice instead of Kassel; Martha Rosler asks: since “curators get paid well for their work at these big exhibitions, and of course artists get paid not at all. If artists do the curating; will we get paid for our labor, or is this more free inspiration, freely given?”; John Miller revisits the history of Documenta as part of the overarching postwar project of German democratization, Tino Sehgal wonders about the tangible manner of production in contemporary art, and Markus Schinwald politely “declines” to participate.

In the discussion area: numerous comments and contributions on the subject by artists, curators, writers and others, some of whom have chosen to remain anonymous.

To view full texts please go to:



The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist

What happens if artists take over and occupy territory usually reserved for curators? What happens if artists are asked to propose a concept for a large-scale group exhibition and to take control over a prestigious show such as Documenta? These are some of the questions that The Next Documenta Should Be Curated By An Artist is trying to investigate. The title of this project is less a demand than a question. A question that does not articulate a critique of previous Documenta exhibitions but rather investigates, in a provocative way, the relationship, which artists have to the profession of curating. For this project a diverse group of artists has been invited to reflect upon the conditions of the relationship between artists and curators. More importantly, the artists were asked to propose a brief concept of how they could imagine putting together an exhibition such as Documenta.

Between July and December 2003 around 30 artists contributions will be presented on the e-flux web-site: An area for discussion and comments for the audience of this project will be available inviting everyone to comment on the overall idea of the project, the contributions of the artists or even to post their own ideas for a Documenta. The generated material will be presented in a book published in collaboration with Revolver press in December 2003.

Curated by Jens Hoffmann


Marina Abramovic

Pawel Althamer

John Baldessari

Ricardo Basbaum

Laura Belém

Dara Birnbaum

Daniel Buren

AA Bronson

Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset

Morgan Fisher

Liam Gillick

Natascha Sadr Haghighian

Carl Michael von Hauswolff

Federico Herrero

Isabel Heimerdinger

Carsten Höller

Alfredo Jaar

Joan Jonas

Tim Lee

Ken Lum

Dorit Margreiter

Cildo Mereiles

John Miller

Jonathan Monk

Florian Pumhösl

Martha Rosler

Julia Scher

Markus Schinwald

Tino Sehgal

Lawrence Weiner

site design: FDT design,

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November 2, 2003

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