Documenta11_Plattform5: The Short Guide

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9783775790871: Documenta11_Plattform5: The Short Guide

Description: The Short Guide introduces, in alphabetical order, all of the participating artists of Documenta11 and their projects. Short essays explain the artists' individual working methods, historical conditions, and approaches to selected works. A list of all works and site plans of the exhibition venues completes this publication. An essential guide for anyone who will be attending Documenta11, The Short Guide is also a useful surrogate for those unable to attend the first Documenta of the new millenium.

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From Library Journal:

The international contemporary art world has just finished its quinquennial reevaluation in the small German city of Kassel, the 11th such gathering since Documenta started in 1955. This year's artistic director, Okwui Enwezor, and his six curators attempted to broaden the discourse by instituting four "platforms" over the preceding year in other parts of the world, which largely engaged with political themes. But Kassel is still the main event. Despite its size-over 110 artists or collaboratives are presented-there were more compelling works in Kassel than one would expect from such survey shows, and a thematic grouping of the works in five main buildings informed the many individual pieces. Unfortunately, this structure is abandoned for an alphabetical presentation in these books. And the films, installations, and large-scale multipart works that made up most of the show cannot be fairly reproduced in just a few images on a couple of printed pages. Thus, even more so than in the case of most exhibition catalogs, these books are reduced to the level of historical documents rather than real opportunities to engage with the art. The Catalogue is especially problematic. One hundred pages of essays by the curators and other critics touch on themes that are common to many artists in the show-postcolonialism, globalization, the notion of place-but only a pair of the 11 texts discuss the aims and outcomes of Documenta 11 itself. The next 400 pages offer film stills, installation views, and selected images from larger works followed by a scant selection of artists' proposals for the show. Apparently an afterthought for the editors, the artist biographies and detailed list of works appeared in a 50-page "appendix" printed separately and stuck inside the front jacket-it won't stay long with the book on library shelves. The Short Guide, a small-format paperback, is more successful by sticking to the art. Each artist gets a picture or two, generally from the show, and a couple of hundred words on the facing page (in both English and German) describe his or her career, subject matter, and often the particular piece on display. As a simple, straightforward, and inexpensive presentation of many of today's most important artists, the Short Guide is recommended for any library with an interest in contemporary art; the Catalogue is recommended only for large, specialized collections.
Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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