Welcome to sockumenta? From Socks to Artistic Tablecloths, Here’s the Best Merch From documenta 14

These socks are bound to start a conversation about capitalism!

The sock table at Documenta 14. Image: Ben Davis.
The sock table at Documenta 14. Image: Ben Davis.

After opening its sprawling, confounding first section in Athens earlier this year, curator Adam Szymczyk’s documenta 14, dubbed “Learning From Athens,” promises to continue a grand conversation on capitalism, colonialism, indigenous rights, environmental destruction, the nature of art itself, and much, much more.

The Kassel section of the big, quinquennial art fest won’t be fully open for its first official viewers until later today, so we can’t say how it delivers just yet. What is already available for review, however, is the shop located in the press center—and after a thorough examination, we can say for sure that documenta 14 does not disappoint in the merch department.

The official Documenta 14 belt. Image: Ben Davis.

The official documenta 14 belt. Image: Ben Davis.

The shop includes the expected documenta totes (€10), documenta ballcaps (€19), and white leather documenta belts (€69). But it also explores bold new directions.

Sure to be a hot item, for instance, is the official documenta 14 line of socks. The white knit socks come emblazoned with the number “14” on them, and are €10 for a kids’ size and €12 for adults.

The official Documenta 14 socks. Image: Ben Davis.

The official documenta 14 socks. Image: Ben Davis.

You might want to buy more than one pair: In Kassel, documenta 14 is disbursed among some 35 different venues. That’s a lot of walking!

When you get tired from pounding the pavement, you will want to have your official documenta 14 folding stool with you. It features the official Owl of Athena logo of “Learning From Athens” on a black canvas seat, and costs a very reasonable €19.

The official Documenta 14 stool. Image: Ben Davis.

The official documenta 14 stool. Image: Ben Davis.

Finally, if you want to have some serious, adult conversation about the woes of the Eurozone and the fate of art in the Anthropocene over dinner, but need to distract the kids, you are in luck. The quinquennial is offering an officially branded Athens/Kassel-themed tablecloth, which also doubles as an entertaining color-in playmat.

The Documenta 14 color-in playmat, from EggNogg. Image: Ben Davis.

The Documenta 14 color-in playmat, from EggNogg. Image: Ben Davis.

The design comes from Athens-based designer Lila Ruby King, and is manufactured by British company EggNogg. It’s €15—but the joy it provokes is priceless.


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