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The documenta papers: How ephemeral art can live on forever


THE ARTS+ FAIR SALON 21. October 2016 15:00 - 16:30

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Birgit Jooss
Philipp Geisler
Stephan Bartholmei

The documenta is the largest and most highly regarded exhibition of contemporary art in the world and takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany. It has gained international acclaim not only for the quality of works it had acquired on loan from all over the world, but most notably for art projects developed exclusively for the exhibitions.

(Werke von Thomas Bayrle in der Documenta-Halle, dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel)

Some of these projects however were never or only partially realized due to technical or organizational constraints. On the other hand, a lot of realized artworks were removed after the show.

Today they only exist in the form of documents within the “documenta Archiv”. Among them are conceptual drafts, sketches, models or plans. The enormous challenge of the archive is to digitize the contents (which are often the only exiting proof of ephemeral artworks) and to publish them through the Internet to a global audience.

The goal of this workshop is to identify and develop first strategies to make this cultural heritage available in an appropriately digital way with potential new audiences and the latest technological advances in mind.  

kasi123 documenta Archiv Kassel am 11.Juli 2008 Foto: Richard Kasiewicz

Copyright: documenta Archiv / Foto: Ryszard Kasiewicz

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Copyright: documenta Archiv / Foto: Ryszard Kasiewicz