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July 24 2012

Sam Durant: Scaffold. Sculpture at dOCUMENTA (13)

One of the largest works at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (Germany) is American artist Sam Durant’s sculpture Scaffold. It’s located in a prominent place in Kassel’s Karslaue Park in front of the Aueteich pond.

Sam Durant’s work for dOCUMENTA (13) is a huge sculpture that has a strong presence, but it’s not immediately clear what it represents or how it is to be used. The visitors are allowed to climb the structure, but because of its complexity, it obviously isn’t just a viewing platform or a play structure for children. In fact, Sam Durant’s sculpture is made up of a combination of reconstructed gallows (scaffolds) that were used for executions in the United States, and an artistic statement about the death penalty.

Sam Durant was born in 1961 in Seattle. The artist lives in Los Angeles. Sam Durant has had solo exhibitions at the Massachusetts College of Art, Boston (2006), and MOCA, Los Angeles (2002). His group exhibitions have included the Sculpture Biennale of Carrara (2010), the Biennale of Sydney (2008), and the Whitney Biennial (2004). In 2008, Sam Durant was a finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize.

More information about Sam Durant’s work Scaffold is available on the Documenta website and on Sam Durant’s website.

Sam Durant: Scaffold. Sculpture at dOCUMENTA (13). Karlsaue Park, Kassel (Germany), July 4, 2012.

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July 20 2012

dOCUMENTA (13): Interview with Documenta Expert Dr. Harald Kimpel

Documenta in Kassel (Germany) is one of the most important exhibitions for contemporary art in the world. Artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode founded it in 1955, as part of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Horticultural Show) in Kassel. It is not unusual that each Documenta has caused controversy. The 2012 edition, dOCUMENTA (13), is no exception. But despite – or maybe precisely because of – the discussions around it, each Documenta is even more successful than the previous one. But what is the reason for the success?

VernissageTV met with Documenta expert Dr. Harald Kimpel on one of the first days of dOCUMENTA (13) in front of the Fridericianum, one of the main exhibition spaces of Documenta. The art historian, author and curator is the authority when it comes to the history of the Documenta in Kassel. We wanted to know: What do you think of the concept of this year’s Documenta? Is Documenta still relevant? What is the future of Documenta? In this conversation with art critic and art historian Dr. Bettina Krogemann, Harald Kimpel talks about the Documenta’s ever expanding concept of art, the uniqueness of this art event, the competition it is facing, and the possible future of this world art show.

The video above is an excerpt. The video interview in full-length is available after the jump. dOCUMENTA (13) runs until September 16, 2012.

dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (Germany). Dr. Bettina Krogemann in conversation with Dr. Harald Kimpel. June 8, 2012.

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Harald Kimpel was born in 1950 in Kassel. He studied Art Education at the College of Fine Arts / University of Kassel and Art History, Classical Archaeology and European Ethnology at the University of Marburg. In 1996 he graduated with a thesis on the history of the Documenta.

Since 1980, Harald Kimpel works as a researcher at the cultural department of the city of Kassel in various capacities, including as Head of Exhibition Department and in the Department of Cultural Promotion and Counseling. Harald Kimpel is also a member of the Deutsche Werkbund Hessen (DWH).

As an author, Harald Kimpel has written essays and monographs about Documenta and many other topics. As a curator he has conceived exhibitions such as: Art in Advertising (Kassel, 1982); Aversion / acceptance. Public art and public opinion. Outdoor installations of Documenta-past (Kassel, 1992); and Skinscapes. The art of the body surface (Marburg, 2009).

Biographical information from: Wikipedia, keyword “Harald Kimpel“, version July 5, 2012, 12:16

Complete interview with Harald Kimpel (13:17 min.). The interview was held in German language. Hit the cc in the video player’s menu to activate the English subtitles:

dOCUMENTA (13) Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev about the show (excerpt from the Documenta-website):

The thirteenth edition of documenta involves more than 300 participants. The exhibition in Kassel is presented at eight main venues, with many other projects located at sites throughout the center of the city.  Over the coming weeks an extensive program of lectures, seminars, congresses, films, and poetry readings, as well as a writers’ residency and programs initiated by dOCUMENTA (13) participants, will be presented.
dOCUMENTA (13) is physically and conceptually sited in four locations—Kassel, Kabul, Alexandria/Cairo, and Banff.
dOCUMENTA (13) is dedicated to artistic research and forms of imagination that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated to, theory. These are terrains where politics are inseparable from a sensual, energetic, and worldly alliance between current research in various scientific and artistic fields and other knowledges, both ancient and contemporary. dOCUMENTA (13) is driven by a holistic and non-logocentric vision that is skeptical of the persisting belief in economic growth. This vision is shared with, and recognizes, the shapes and practices of knowing of all the animate and inanimate makers of the world, including people.


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July 18 2012

Ceal Floyer: ‘Til I get it Right / Audio Installation at dOCUMENTA (13)

Ceal Floyer’s sound installation ‘Til I get it Right seems to be a comment on the artist’s strive for perfection. It’s a loop that is created from a song of the same title by the American country music singer-songwriter Tammy Wynette. Ceal Floyer just used the lines “I’ll just keep on” and “’Til I Get It Right,” to create an endless mantra-like soundtrack.

Ceal Floyer was born in 1968 and lives in Berlin. She has had solo exhibitions at DHC, Montreal (2011), MOCA, Miami (2010), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2009), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2009), the Swiss Institute, New York (2006), and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2001), and has participated in the Biennale di Venezia (2009). Floyer has received the Nam June Paik Award (2009) and the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst, Berlin (2007).

Ceal Floyer: ‘Til I get it Right (2005). Audio Installation at dOCUMENTA (13). Kassel (Germany), June 8, 2012.

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July 13 2012

Thomas Bayrle at dOCUMENTA (13) / Interview

One of the largest rooms of dOCUMENTA (13) is dedicated exclusively to the work of German artist Thomas Bayrle. Bayrle, born in 1937 in Berlin, has already participated in Documenta 3 in 1964 and in Documenta 6 in 1977 in Kassel (Germany). Nearly 50 years after his first participation Thomas Bayrle is now celebrating his impressive comeback to one of the most important art events of the world. In this conversation with Dr. Bettina Krogemann, Thomas Bayrle talks about the works he is showing at dOCUMENTA (13). The video above is an excerpt. The interview in full-length is available after the jump.

Framed by two monumental works on the wall, the sounds and movements of 8 kinetic works, draw the visitors into their spell. These sculptures are engines that are cut open. If you ever wanted to know how the motor of a Porsche 911, Moto Guzzi bike or the radial engine of an airplane works: It can be seen here. So the works that Thomas Bayrle presents here are appealing both for art lovers as well as for technology enthusiasts. Bayrle has great respect for the skills of the engineers:

“The engineer is a creative profession that deals with matter in a very real way, much like a doctor. I see this as an incentive, we who make art must strive for precision in our thinking and acting.”

Dr. Bettina Krogemann in conversation with Documenta-artist Thomas Bayrle. Kassel (Germany), June 8, 2012.

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Complete interview (12:37 min.):

For Thomas Bayrle the machines are compressed cathedrals, the beauty and complexity of a cathedral in a small space. Bayrle’s kinetic sculptures at dOCUMENTA (13) draw on works he created in 1966, when he built machines. This time, he combines the engines that are cut open with soundtracks that he recorded in a church. He merges the rosary prayer with the engine noise and composes a sound jelly, as he calls it, from their uniform and repetitive sound.

“In fact, I think, in short, rosary prayer and machines belong together. In general: Meditation and machines belong together. It’s the rhythm. Because, our heart has a rhythm, everything we make is serial and the serial sustains us physically, mentally, but also the machines that are actually a reflection of our body.”

Rhythm, repetition, and the aesthetic principle of the serial have always been an essential element of Thomas Bayrle’s work. In the tradition of artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Sigmar Polke, Thomas Bayrle draws his motives and themes from the world of goods and the consumer society. Bayrle was trained as a weaver and then studied at the Arts and Crafts School in Offenbach. He learned the technique of lithography and etching. From 1975 to 2005 he was professor at Städelschule, State College of Fine Arts in Frankfurt/Main (Germany). Thomas Bayrle lives in Frankfurt/Main, where he was Professor at the Städelschule (1975–2005). His solo exhibitions have included MACBA, Barcelona (2009), Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2008–09), MMK, Frankfurt/Main (2006), and the Städel Museum, Frankfurt/Main (2002). Bayrle has participated in the Biennale di Venezia (2009, 2003) and documenta 6 and 3 (1977, 1964).


June 22 2012

Llyn Foulkes: The Machine / Performance at dOCUMENTA (13)

Los Angeles-based artist and musician Llyn Foulkes exhibits and performs his self-made musical instrument, The Machine, at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Germany.

The Marchine is a homemade apparatus that Foulkes built from old-fashioned car and bicycle horns and other parts that emit sound. After being a drummer in a rock band from 1965-1971, Foulkes invented The Machine because he got tired of rock music that in his opinion all became about how loud it is.

Llyn Foulkes was born in 1934 in Yakima, Washington. He studied at the Chouinard Art Institute (now CalArts). Foulkes began exhibiting with the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1959, where many famous Los Angeles-artists such as Wallace Berman, Robert Irwin and Ed Ruscha had their first solo shows.

In 1967, Llyn Foulkes was awarded the first Prize for Painting at the Paris Biennale, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and he participated in the IX São Paulo Art Biennial, in Brazil. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art was the first museum to acquire his work for the collection in 1964. In 1974 he had his first retrospective at the Newport Harbor Art Museum. In 1992 his work was included in the exhibition Helter Skelter at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. After his participation at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, Llyn Foulkes will have a major retrospective in 2013 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Llyn Foulkes performing The Machine at dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (Germany). June 6, 2012.

PS: Interviews with Llyn Foulkes: at Archives of American Art and Art in America.

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June 07 2012

dOCUMENTA (13) / Preview

Since its establishment in 1955, documenta has been regarded as the most important international exhibition of contemporary art. It’s taking place once every five years. It was founded by artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode in 1955 as part of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Horticultural Show) which took place in Kassel at that time. This video takes you an a tour of Documenta 13 in Kassel on the Preview day. The main venues of this year’s Documenta include Fridericianum, Ottoneum, Documenta-Halle, and Neue Galerie. Among the many artists that are represented are Issa Samb, Song Dong, Giuseppe Pennone, Robin Kahn & La Cooperativa Unidad Nacional Mujeres Saharauis (The National Union of Women from Western Sahara) (Karlsaue); Ryan Gander, Konrad Zuse, Ida Applebroog, Alighiero Boetti, Llyn Foulkes, Goshka Macuga (Karslaue and Fridericianum); Julie Mehretu, Etel Adnan, Yan Lei, Thomas Bayrle (Documenta-Halle); and Adrián Villar Rojas (Weinbergterrassen).

dOCUMENTA (13), Preview. Kassel / Germany, June 6, 2012.

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Photo set:


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