Loading Map...

Ich liebe kunst

Written on: Saturday August 25th, 2012

A journal entry from: November 2011 until...

I arrived in Kassel for dOCUMENTA 13 woefully underprepared for the art happenings that awaited.

dOCUMENTA 13 (I guess that it is arty that the first letter isn't capitalised but the rest are) involves thousands of contemporary artworks spread across dozens of sites around the town. It happens quinquennially (every five years). My first reaction to the event was "Bugger me, that was expensive." This was soon followed by "Bugger me, that's a long line" and after an hour of standing in line, "Well, what am I to make of a video presentation of a woman playing a 35,000 year old vulture bone flute while being observed by a vulture?"

Most of the art was challenging to say the least. But I got a guide on the second day who really helped with contextualising a small sample.

My favourite piece was undoubtedly in the local train station - one borrowed an iPod (+headphones) with a pre-installed video - filmed in the train station, and walked around the station as the narrative unfolded on the small screen in front of you. It was very well done and more than once I was quite disorientated, not quite knowing which stimuli were real and which were part of the story.

Other highlights included being told by a punter that they simply had to take my photo in front of an art work because my shirt went so well with the colours and going out to see the local bats with Juri (with whom I was staying). Juri is equal parts bat expert and enthusiast. He is clearly in the right line of work - just look at his face in the photo as we were looking for bats - something he does several times a week.