Sunday, June 17, 2012

Art journal #151: dOCUMENTA (13)

First time to Documenta. Found it far better than Venice. Art scattered across in Karlsaue Park is a lot of work/walking, but great way to see art outside white cubes. Curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev's four themes were ambitious: on stage, under seige, in a state of hope, in retreat. And the idea of having satellite events in Kabul, Cairo, Banff is stoke of genius - makes me want to go to Afghanistan to see that part of the show! There's a lot of focus on Middle East - is it just Europe, or the world is losing interest in Asia? Guess there's a lot more upheaval that part of the world than over here (which is a blessing of sort). 

Idea of having a "brain" in Rotunda, which is "not a curating concept" but a set of works that inspire artists is...contrived but brilliant at same time. The Lee Miller photos of herself bathing in Hilter's place after he killed himself is performance art! Visitors to Friedrichsplatz were greeted by Ryan's breeze (didnt know wind can be artwork!). Kader Attia's "repair" installation is captivating. Mario Garcia Torres's search for Boetti's One Hotel is poetic. Middle East in the spot again with Khaled Hourani's record of how a Picasso work traveled to show in Palentine, and all the problems that go with a country without proper borders. Mark Lombardi's sketches is speculative detective work? "Reskilling" seen in Goshka Macuga's tapestry work - there's a clear return of workmanship like textile, etc. beyond concepts. The deadly sleeping sickness flies from Pratchaya Phinthong on show is all but a small part of a community project - shouldnt art all be this way? 

The Geoffrey Farmer in Neue Gallerie is getting tons of attention. But I dont get the Roman Ondak at all...? Wish I had more time for the Wael Shawky animation (reminded me of Natalie Djurberg) - the use of "camera" is interesting! 

In Documenta-Halle, Julie Mehretu's monumental drawings were lovely. I actually liked the Moon Kyunwon and Jeon Jooho video though I know many didnt care too much for it. And is Yan Lei really the flash in the pan? Its a eye catching installation, certainly better than what I saw in ArtHK.

Karlsaue Park has engaging works. 

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