DOCUMENTA KASSEL 16/06-23/09 2007

documenta 12 Halle
- A venue for the production of the exhibition as a medium

documenta 12 conceived of itself as a medium. Rather than a representative showcase, the exhibition is intended as a production format which both temporally and spatially extends across the exhibition space. In order to organise this expanded exhibition space collectively, documenta 12 developed two models which were working together in a complementary manner since the beginning of 2006: the editorial network of the documenta 12 magazines and the Kassel-based documenta 12 advisory board. Both supported the transfer of local knowledge between people based at various locations across the world and art and its public. With the opening of the exhibition, this transfer was augmented by the addition of a further dimension: documenta 12’s art education programme, which aimed to stimulate the public to bring to bear its own intellectual and aesthetic resources in this encounter with artistic works.

These various production formats joined forces in the documenta-Halle during the course of the exhibition in the summer of 2007. Over the 100 days of the exhibition, the editors and publishers of the magazine network have been meeting here and collaborating with members of the advisory board and the art mediators. Their objective was to bring together the various levels they have all identified in addressing the documenta 12 leitmotifs and to shape this educational process in cooperation with the public.

Consequently, the documenta-Halle was transformed into a publicly accessible space for collectively engaging in educational work, documentation and presentation.

The approximately 100 magazines participating in the network have been presented in the upper storey of the Halle, including many forms of media which are difficult, or even impossible, to obtain outside their individual local distribution areas. In addition, around 140 of the collaborating editors were guests in Kassel and in the documenta-Halle during the 100 days of the exhibition.

The advisory board took its activities into the city itself by staging events at various local sites and venues throughout the summer. An orientation system tied these activities to the documenta-Halle to ensure the public could find its way into the city and engage with local issues and local residents.
As a complement to the standard guided tours, 20 art educators conducted their own projects in which new art-educational formats and content were devised and implemented with selected groups. These practice-based formats were elaborated in the documenta-Halle and incorporated as a valuable resource.

The public was also invited to take part in this on-going educational process. Consequently, a one-hour Lunch Lecture was held each day at 1 pm in the foyer of the documenta-Halle. Here the troika of the magazine network, the advisory board and the art mediators could be seen and heard presenting and debating the results of their work with the audience and the public at large.

All lunch lectures have been recorded and the audio files are at
your disposal in the documenta-archive.

In order to provide space for developing content and themes, the programme of the Lunch Lectures was only finalised during the course of the 100 days of the exhibition itself. A weekly “menu”, posted on the documenta 12 website and publicised through the flexible orientation system, provided up-to-date information on the weekly schedule of events.

The production space of the documenta-Halle had been further expanded by the “annexation” of one of the public lounges in the foyer, which provided space not only to work but also for contemplation, relaxation and refreshments. There was also a café in the lower area of the Halle and a Press Centre for journalists which directly adjoined the work area.