Learning from Documenta

Sam Korman wonders whether the quinquennial is more anarchic than didactic

By Sam Korman

Máret Ánne Sara, Pile o’ Sápmi (2017), installation view, Neue Neue Galerie. Image: Mathias Völzke William Pope.L, Skin Set Project (1997–). Image: courtesy the artist Sanja Iveković, Monument to Revolution (2017), Avdi Square, Athens, documenta 14. Image: Yiannis Hadjiaslanis Lala Rukh, posters, flyers and screenprinting manual relating to the Women’s Action Forum, Lahore (1980s–90s), at Documenta 14, Kassel. Photo: Fred Dott

The map for Documenta 14 lacks all but the most major street names. And the scale is slightly off. They’re petty details to note in a review, and though the 2017 edition, like its 13 predecessors, asks viewers to ramble about town (most of the action takes place around the Friedrichsplatz), the map is quite important to this edition, which operates on the idea of territory.In lieu of a theme, an every, or an all, the biennial is arranged as…

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