Exhibition Politics

Die documenta und die DDR

East German art critic Lothar Lang described the 1959 documenta as a “monster show”—a judgement that reflects the cultural-political tensions between the two German states. What image did artists and cultural functionaries in East Berlin, Dresden or Rostock have of the documenta, and, conversely, how did the curatorial teams view the GDR? In her study Exhibition Politics. The documenta and the GDR, Alexia Pooth reconstructs this special chapter in the history of the Kassel-based exhibition. The author traces a history of reception and perception in which, despite political animosity, there was always communication. The content ranges from the founding of the documenta in 1955 to Catherine David's documenta 10 in 1997.

In addition to historical analyses, this book contains a diverse compilation of documents, profiles of artists, and image series. First-hand accounts from the likes of Eduard Beaucamp, Gudrun Brüne-Heisig, Gabi Dolff-Bonekämper, Hans Eichel, Achim Freyer, Klaus Honnef, Gabriela Ivan, Jürgen Schweinebraden, and Volker Stelzmann make for a highly entertaining read.

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Exhibition Politics

February 2024

ISBN 978-3-7356-0955-7

17 × 23 cm

364 pages

71 colored and 40 b/w illustrations

Gatefold Brochure

Languages: German

Editor
Birgitta Coers, documenta archiv, Kassel

Text by
Alexia Pooth

Design by
Pascal Storz and Lucas Manser, Studio Storz, Berlin

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