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Catalogue for documenta 5

  • by Karly Wildenhaus
  • 8 blocks • 5 days ago

> Documenta 5 not only claimed to organize artifacts, it also claimed to oversee the realm of discourse and theoretical reflection. As a symbol of this mission, Szeemann changed the format of the catalogue. Instead of the usual two- or three- volume documentation, he chose a huge folder comprising 700 pages. He had just escaped from Berne, the philistine Swiss capital where he had been director of the Kunsthalle Berne, and brought with him bureaucracy's favorite device, the folder, which absorbs everything written on paper. In fact, the folder of Documenta 5 marked the birth of the contemporary catalogue-book. Ed Ruscha designed the cover with dozens of tiny ants forming the logo of the exhibition, symbolizing the subordination of the individual members of the art world to the premises of the museum. After a long period in which artists had propagated themselves, their voices were finally under the control of the curator. The case of Robert Smithson was typical of this change. He had boycotted the exhibition and written a text, "Cultural Confinement," in which he compared the curator to a prison warden who oversees the artists in their white cells and keeps them at a distance from the outside world. However, Szeemann simply included the text in the folder. The same was true for the autonomous critique. Although much ink flowed—pro and con—in the press, the judgments of the critics simply had no impact because all of the decisions had already been made. Criticism rolled off the plastic cover of the catalogue like drops of water. Szeemann even provided empty space for "Afterwards: Press" at the end of the catalog

Philip Ursprung on d5 catalogue
Added by Karly Wildenhaus
Updated 5 days ago
Cover of dealer catalog, Steven Leiber Basement, 1998
Added by Karly Wildenhaus
Updated 28 days ago
Specific Object: Documenta 5
Added by Karly Wildenhaus
Updated about 1 month ago
Szeemann_Harald_et_al_Documenta_5_A.pdf
Added by Karly Wildenhaus
Updated about 1 month ago
Barbara Rose, “Document of an Age,” New York Magazine, August 14, 1972
Added by Karly Wildenhaus
Updated about 1 month ago