Documenta Looks to the Future on Its 60th Anniversary, with Substantial Gift from Kassel

On its 60th anniversary, Documenta organizers are using the occasion to ensure the quinquennial’s future. Organizational and financial re-structuring as well as cautious globalization are on the agenda.

Perhaps celebrating with an administrative gesture is not befitting of the legendary art show. It is, however, financially essential. On July 15, the city of Kassel officially transfers the rights to the Documenta archive to the company Documenta GmbH, which is supported by the city and the federal state of Hesse. The rights to the archive will enable the organization to secure greater funding in the future.

The city of Kassel is thereby taking the first step towards establishing an academic research institute dedicated to the study of the international art exhibition. According to Kassel’s cultural affairs director, Dorothee Rhiemeier, the interdisciplinary institute is scheduled to open in 2020.


Adam Szymczyk was appointed Director of Documenta in 2013.
Photo: via Lokalo 24.

“Kassel has become the home of Documenta, which is now part of our identity,” said the city’s mayor Bertram Hilgen.

A series of events and talks marking the occasion will contribute to the celebratory atmosphere. On July 16, a retrospective of Marcel Broodthaers opens in the city, and a symposium featuring the directors of the previous four exhibitions and the director of the upcoming Documenta 14, Adam Szymczyk, takes place from July 17-18.

Documenta 14 director Adam Szymczyk emphasized the need for Documenta to engage in global cultural exchange. Photo:

Documenta 14 director Adam Szymczyk emphasized the need for Documenta to engage in global cultural exchange.
Photo: via

Speaking to Art Magazin before the event, Szymczyk emphasized the importance of global expansion. “We should consider that not only in terms of capital, but also with regard to cultural exchanges,” he said, buttressing his plan to stage the opening of Documenta 14 in Athens.

In April, Szymczyk also announced that he intends to include the hoard of the late art dealer Cornelius Gurlitt in Documenta 14.

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