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Athens and documenta 14

Akropolis as seen from near the top of Mount Lycabettus Akropolis as seen from near the top of Mount Lycabettus From Monday to Friday, I finally visited Athens. I also went to the four major venues of documenta 14. It was incredibly hot down there but I managed to survive. Yet, 36-40 degrees is tough if you are not used to it. The flight to Athens was smooth and calm. I can recommend Aegean. Young airline, new planes, propper food… I arrived at the hotel rather late. The room was clean and had everything that I needed but was far from “modernised” as they claimed on the website. Athens itself was incredibly dirty. The waste management is poor anyways but if the garbage collection is on strike, it becomes a nightmare. Poverty is also an issue in Greece. Two thirds of the shops in the more remote streets were permanently closed and there were quite a few people sleeping in the street. It was less bad than I had expected though and nothing sincere happened.

On Tuesday morning, I visited the Akropolis. Documenta would not open before 10am but I was awake much earlier and wanted to use the time. I do not want to imagine how crowded Athens’ main attraction is during the day. I came there early but it was packed with people already. The entry fee is 20€ but for just 10€ more you get a ticket that is valid for five days and gives you entry to five different archeological sites. You can visit each of them once within those five days. Even if you visit just one other site apart from the Akropolis, it already pays off. The Akropolis is as impressive as you would expect and I can confirm that the copy on the Friedrichsplatz in Kassel is as big as the original. Once I had seen everything, I went to EMST which is the mueseum of modern art in Athens. It is the main site of documenta in Greece. The building is very modern – white cube architecture – and a good place to show modern art. The documenta artworks were interesting and nice. However, I had been to different documenta sites in Kassel already and I could spot several artworks that I had seen in Kassel also (meaning that an artist had painted a series of pictures and half of them were shown in Athens and the other half in Kassel). In the evening, I travelled to Mount Lycabettus. It is a Continue reading →

documenta @ night

Here are a few images of documenta @ night. I guess no further explanation is needed. Note that the laser on the roof of the Zwehrenturm from an earlier documenta was on as well.

documenta in Kassel (part 2)

I spent another day at documenta 14 in Kassel. I will not say to much about it. The images speak for themselves, I reckon. The interpretation of art is always in the eye of the beholder anyways. I visited three exhibition sites: Museum Fridericianum which currently holds artworks from the EMST-gallery in Athens, the documenta-Halle, and finally the Neue Galerie. While the artworks at the Fridericianum and documenta-Halle mainly deal with refugees, the theme at Neue Galerie is looted art. There is a lot to discover but also a lot to take in. You need to bring patience and time… The latter is equally important because there were already more visitors after one week than in 2012. I had to queue for 20 minutes at the Fridericianum and 10 minutes at the Neue Galerie. It is still worth it.

Next: Athens from June 25th to June 30th. I will take one day to look at the exhibition down there and two days to explore the city in general. On the other two days, I will be high up in the sky – Aegan from Frankfurt Airport to Athens and back…

documenta in Kassel

Today, I took a look at some of the documenta artworks that can be seen for free at documenta 14 in Kassel. I cannot say much about the exhibition yet except that it seems to be very political. The mill of blood is an exact copy of a mill used by conquerers in Bolivia to extract silver and other materials from the soil. It was driven by slaves, i.e. indigenous people. The pipes in front of the documenta-Halle were turned into small flats by students. They are meant to remember refugees on their way to Europe that lived in similar pipes during their flight. The Parthenon of Books is a copy of the Parthenon in Athens (exactly the same size as the original down there) and covered with books that are forbidden in different countries around the world. You will find books by Thomas Mann and Kurt Tucholsky as well as the Bible and copies of Harry Potter amongst many others. The obelisk at the Königsplatz quotes the Bible “I was a stranger and you took me in” (Matthew 25). Oh, and the Museum Fridericianum lost its name. It now says Being safe is scary. I will have to find out what this means tmorrow. I will get a ticket and look at some of the indoor artworks then. In ten days, I’ll be down in Greece and see the Athens part of the exhibition. 🙂

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