DOCUMENTA KASSEL 16/06-23/09 2007

Art education at documenta 12


Ich glaube, da ist unsere Einladung an die Leute, sich verstärkt einzubringen, aufgegangen. Man hat gemerkt, dass das Bedürfnis da ist und dass die Leute auch etwas zu sagen haben. (Ulrich Schötker, Leitung Kunstvermittlung)

Kunstvermittlung auf der documenta 12 bedeutete für die über 70 VermittlerInnen, sich einzulassen auf die unterschiedlichsten Besuchergruppen. Dafür wurde explizit ein dialogisches, experimentelles Format entwickelt. Ein halbes Jahr lang wurden die KunstvermittlerInnen vom documenta 12 Team um Ulrich Schötker (Leitung Kunstvermittlung) und Carmen Mörsch (Begleitforschung) ausgebildet. In reflektiven Arbeitsprozessen entstand ein Team, das sich in einer Atmosphäre der Offenheit entwickeln und so auf die unterschiedlichen BesucherInnen eingehen konnte.



Art Education at documenta 12

Beginning on 16 June 2007, the documenta – one of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art in the world – took place in Kassel for the twelfth time.

Once again, the exhibition sought to achieve the intrepid aim of both exploring the potential of exhibition-making in a new way and furthering the (aesthetic) education of its audience. For Roger M. Buergel, artistic director, and Ruth Noack, curator of documenta 12, the exhibition was not simply a display area for art. They viewed it above all as a medium: an open, formable realm of possibility that is shared by the art and its audience. The process of aesthetic education is perhaps less a matter of acquiring factual knowledge than of developing and exploiting one’s own emotional and intellectual resources. Visitors of documenta 12 were therefore invited to take part in the composition of the exhibition, to explore the relationships between the works on show and above all to make their own personal connections.

The documenta 12 exhibition offered art education and mediation in a variety of different forms and formats, all of which encouraged this kind of direct engagement and invited visitors to share in the experience and exploration of the art on show. Next to classical formats, such as tours for prebookers or open guided tours, documenta 12 had special guided tours for children and youngsters, as well as barrier -free guided tours. In addition, audio guides were available to accompany the visitors through the exhibition.

The guided tours of the exhibition, which lasted a minimum of two hours, made regular stops at the “circles of enlightenment” (Palmenhain). This was a designated area within the exhibition space devoted to the concentrated study of and collective engagement with art. While visitors can expect the art education programme to provide informative inspiration, it cannot establish absolute truth. Realising that art can never be fully explained was one of the experiences that visitors to documenta 12 were intended to make, because this is where the true power of art ultimately lies.

aushecken - space for school children and young people

For the first time in history, documenta offers a space with a special art education programme just for the young visitors. Parents can visit the exhibition in a relaxed frame of mind while their children spend some time in the baroque hedge enclosure in the Karlsaue, thinking about the exhibition, along with the works and topics it presents.
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[Translate to englisch:] Welt bewohnen - SchülerInnen führen Erwachsene

(Kopie 1)

SchülerInnen des Kunstvermittlungsformats Welt bewohnen
Inhabiting the world - pupils guide adults through doucmenta 12
As an experimental initiative, documenta 12 developed a new format in which pupils from local schools guided adults through the exhibition. While preparing for these tours, the young guides spent a lot of time exploring the exhibition and considering its themes with the aim of developing individual focal points and forms of communication. A limited number of these special tours were offered daily.

The transfer of knowledge and networking – art education projects
In addition to the numerous tours offered at the documenta 12, educators will present a number of other art education formats in highly diverse projects.
These projects are directed at groups of people with special interests and background knowledge, who will be invited to visit the exhibition along with educators, before subsequently responding to them in various ways

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