documenta 5

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Art & Language , view of the installation Index 01 , 1972, Documenta 5
Photo of the documenta 5 catalog from 1972

The Documenta 5 entitled questioning of reality - image worlds today is considered the single most important documentation . It took place from June 30th to October 8th 1972 in Kassel under the direction of Harald Szeemann . The 5th documenta was the first documenta that was organized with Arnold Bode in the documenta team, but not under his direction. The documenta 5 is also considered to be the world's most influential exhibition of modern art after the Second World War .

Harald Szeemann organized documenta 5 in a departure from its predecessors as an event with a politically critical background and provocative approaches. Art should be torn out of its museum context. From the Museum of 100 Days , the documenta became a 100-day event . Fluxus and happening art, which had not yet appeared at the 4th documenta , found their place here. Non-art and image contributions from psychiatry were exhibited and publicly discussed controversially.

In an initial concept for documenta 5, Szeemann planned an even more radical departure from the museum principle. There should no longer be a static exhibition at all, only the presentation of creative processes and developments. This first concept turned out to be unfeasible for financial and organizational reasons.

The second, realized concept focuses on the tension between art and the parallel imagery of non-art, social reality or political propaganda.

Bazon Brock'sVisitor School ” served for the second time as a didactic orientation aid to accompany the exhibition . It should also convey the new and unusual content of documenta 5 in four daily events of 80 minutes each. The visitor school was originally planned to be more complex and had to be reduced in type and size. The completed visitor school took place as an “ audiovisual foreword ” on the ground floor of the Fridericianum.

The catalog for documenta 5 was no longer a bound book, but a ring binder that visitors could add to.

The new exhibition concept and the contents of documenta 5 aroused opposition and generated protest actions, mainly in the conservative milieu. In the relevant magazines and daily newspapers, criticism and polemicism were made - sometimes in a hearty choice of words . This also had an effect on sections of the population otherwise distant from art. In the name of a so-called “peasantry for law and justice”, Thies Christophersen , a farmer from the neo-fascist environment, dumped a load of dung in front of the Museum Fridericianum.

With almost 229,000 visitors, the relevance of this world exhibition of contemporary art was once again confirmed. In retrospect, the 5th documenta is one of the most important art events of the 20th century worldwide.

Exhibition locations

The size of the exhibition was reduced compared to its predecessor documents , the 5th documenta only took place in the rooms of the Museum Fridericianum and the Neue Galerie . The exhibition architecture was designed by Lorenz Dombois, who was already responsible for the architecture at documenta 3 and the 4th documenta as Arnold Bode's assistant.

The film actor documenta 5 was held in place Royal Theater, which was located close to the Fridericianum.

Works of art

Performance , such as the spectacular contributions by Vettor Pisani , Rebecca Horn , Paul Cotton , Trans-Parent Teacher's Ink. , James Lee Byars or Klaus Rinke , as well as Concept Art, for example by Dan Graham , Walter De Maria , On Kawara or Joseph Kosuth , and process and action art took up a large space for the first time at a documenta.

The avant-garde of conceptual art was represented in the Idea + Idea / Light department . The Art & Language group (with Terry Atkinson , Harold Hurrell , David Bainbridge , Ian Burn , Michael Baldwin , Charles Harrison , Mel Ramsden and Joseph Kosuth ) contributed one of the most extensive works with the project “ Index 0001 ”, which comes from an entire room consisted of numerous filing boxes with hundreds of filing cards and complicated linguistic and logical references.

In addition to the new art forms, the exhibition of the photo realists in the Neue Galerie ( Chuck Close , Ralph Goings , Duane Hanson , Franz Gertsch and others) covers the important elements of the 5th documenta.

As a social sculpture, Joseph Beuys made an unforgettable contribution to the documenta with his “ Office of the Organization for Direct Democracy through Referendum ”. At the end of the exhibition on October 8, 1972, Beuys fought the legendary boxing match against student Abraham David Christian (who called himself Abraham David Christian-Moebuss at the time ) in Ben Vautier's room in the Fridericianum , which Beuys won in three rounds with a point victory.

In front of the Fridericianum a manipulated German flag ( correction of the national colors , 1972) was raised by KP Brehmer , which visualized the unequal distribution of wealth in West Germany in three differently sized black, red and gold colored areas .

In the area of ​​the happening , artists of Viennese Actionism , such as Hermann Nitsch , Günter Brus or Rudolf Schwarzkogler , contributed partly bloody, partly sexual - untaboosing - in any case provocative actions to “documenta as an event”.

Under the heading of “ Individual Mythologies ”, documenta 5 in the top floor of the Museum Fridericianum allowed a number of artists to have their say with their very own expressive possibilities, diverse approaches and representations of individual dream images ( La Monte Young , Marian Zazeela , Michael Buthe , Étienne Martin , Paul Thek , Nancy Graves and others).

In the parallel worlds of images that were exhibited in the Neue Galerie found (among other things) "worlds of images and piety", "sculpture of the mentally ill", political propaganda, "social iconography" (40 SPIEGEL titles) or documents from science fiction - Area their place.

Participating artists

Vito Acconci Richard Aeschlimann Vincenzo Agnetti Peter Alexander John De Andrea
Giovanni Anselmo Anatol Herzfeld (working hours) Archigram Siah Armajani Chuck Arnoldi ( Charles Arnoldi )
Art & Language Richard Artschwager Michael Asher
John Baldessari Robert Barry Georg Baselitz Lothar Baumgarten Monika Baumgartl
Bernd and Hilla Becher Robert Bechtle Gottfried Bechtold Joseph Beuys Natalie Bieser
Karl Oskar bubble Mel Bochner Alighiero Boetti Marinus Boezem Christian Boltanski
Stan Brakhage Claudio Bravo George Brecht KP Brehmer Marcel Broodthaers
Stanley Brouwn Günter Brus Daniel Buren Victor Burgin Michael Buthe
Eugenia Butler James Lee Byars
Pier Paolo Calzolari Luciano Castelli Abraham David Christian (Abraham David Christian-Moebuss) Christo and Jeanne-Claude Chuck Close
Tony Conrad Ron Cooper Bill Copley ( William Copley ) Joseph Cornell Robert Cottingham
Paul Cotton
Hanne Darboven Gino de Dominicis Walter De Maria Hermann Degkwitz David German
Jan Dibbets Herbert Distel Ottomar Domnick Dore O. Marcel Duchamp
John Dugger Stephen Dwoskin
Don Eddy Franz Eggenschwiler Ger van Elk Richard Estes
Luciano Fabro Hans-Peter Feldmann John C. Fernie Robert Filliou Jud Fine
Joel Fisher Barry Flanagan Y. Fongi Terry Fox Hollis Frampton
Howard Fried Hamish Fulton
Barry Gerson Franz Gertsch Vittorio Gigliotti Gilbert & George Ralph Goings
Hubertus Gojowczyk Larry Gottheim Dan Graham Nancy Graves
Hans Haacke Duane Hanson Guy Harloff Michael Harvey House Rucker Co
Birgit Hein & Wilhelm Hein Auguste Herbin Eva Hesse Ernst Hiestand & Ursula Hiestand Rebecca Horn
Jean-Olivier Hucleux Douglas Huebler
Jörg Immendorff Will Insley Rolf Iseli
Ken Jacobs Neil Jenney Alfred Jensen Jasper Johns Joan Jonas
Howard Kanovitz Edward Kienholz & Nancy Kienholz Imi Knoebel Christof Kohlhöfer Jannis Kounellis
Tom Kovachevich Piotr Kowalski
David Lamelas Owen Land Jean Le Gac Barry Le Va Alfred Leslie
Sol LeWitt Richard Long Ingeborg Lüscher
Inge Mahn Robert Mangold Brice Marden Agnes Martin Donatella Mazzoleni
Étienne Martin Richard McLean David Medalla Dieter Meier Fernando Melani
Jim Melchert Mario Merz Gustav Metzger Russ Meyer Bernd Minnich
Malcolm Morley Ed Moses
Bruce Nauman Werner Nekes Hermann Nitsch Andrew Noren
Claes Oldenburg Yoko Ono Dennis Oppenheim
Robin Page Blinky Palermo Panamarenko Giulio Paolini AR Penck
Giuseppe Penone Joachim Pfeufer Elisabeth pound & Roger pound Vettor Pisani Sigmar Polke
Paolo Portoghesi Stephen Poses Rosa von Praunheim
Markus Raetz Arnulf Rainer Gerhard Richter David Rimmer Klaus Rinke
Dorothea Rockburne Peter Roehr Aldo Loris Rossi Ulrich Rückriem Allen Ruppersberg
Edward Ruscha Reiner Ruthenbeck Robert Ryman
John Salt Salvo (Salvatore Mangione) Lucas Samaras Günter Sarée Paul Sarkisian
Jean-Frédéric Schnyder Ben closed time Werner Schroeter HA Schult Armand Schulthess
Rudolf Schwarzkogler Fritz Schwegler Richard Serra Paul Sharits Alan Shields
Katharina Sieverding Robert Smithson Michael Snow Holly Solomon & Bert Spielvogel Irm & Ed Sommer
Keith Sonnier Klaus Staeck Paul Staiger Jorge Stever Robert Strübin
Paul Thek Wayne Thiebaud André Thomkins David Tremlett Richard Tuttle
Bernd Upnmoor
Ben Vautier
Franz Erhard Walther Robert Watts William Wegman Bertram Weigel Lawrence Weiner
Roger Welch John Wesley Horace Clifford Westermann Joyce Wieland William Wiley
Charles Wilp Rolf Winnewisser Adolf Wölfli Tom Wudl Klaus Wyborny
La Monte Young Peter Young
Marian Zazeela Gilberto Zorio

Sources and literature

  • Exhibition catalog: documenta 5. Survey of Reality - Imagery Today. Catalog (as a file folder) Volume 1: (Material); Volume 2: (list of exhibits); Kassel 1972.
  • documenta archive (ed.); Resubmission d5 - A survey of the archive on documenta 1972. Kassel / Ostfildern 2001, ISBN 3-7757-1121-X .
  • Manfred Schneckenburger (Ed.): Documenta - Idea and Institution: Tendencies, Concepts, Materials. Munich 1983, ISBN 3-7654-1902-8 .
  • Harald Kimpel : documenta, myth and reality. Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-7701-4182-2 .
  • Dirk Schwarze: Milestones: 50 years of documenta. Kassel 2005, ISBN 3-936962-23-5 .
  • Michael Glasmeier, Karin Stengel (eds.): 50 Years / Years documenta 1955–2005. 2 volumes: Discrete Energies / archive in motion; Kassel 2005, ISBN 3-86521-146-1 .
  • Cultural Office of the City of Kassel / documenta archive (ed.) / CIS GmbH (prod.); CD: Documenta 1-9 - A focus on four decades of exhibition history / Profiling four decades of exhibition history - 1955–1992. Kassel / Würzburg 1997, ISBN 3-89322-934-5 .
  • Klaus Staeck (Ed.): Questioning the Documenta or art should remain beautiful. Göttingen 1972.
  • Harold Rosenberg : Art on the edge: Creators and situations. University of Chicago Press, 1983, ISBN 0-226-72674-6 (Chapter 5: On the edge: Documenta 5. pp. 262ff)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ "Dung" campaign by Thies Christophersen in front of the Museum Fridericianum, police intervention, document dA-AA-Mp. 10, documenta archive
  2. Leaflet: "Dump dung - How long do you want to be frozzeln?", "The peasantry - For law and justice", published by Thies Christophersen on July 22, 1972