Yesterday I visited dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel Germany. dOCUMENTA (13) is an international art festival, featuring contemporary art. It aims to reflect the ‘relationship between art and society’ and often has a political message associated with it. This years theme is space and paradox: “a space of many secrets, a space of violence and a space of potential healing”. The festival takes place every five years and runs from June to September.
After buying our tickets at Kassel Hauptbahnof (main train station), we went to the first exhibit – an interactive video installation by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. We were each given an iPod and headphones. On the iPod was the artist’s work. The piece took us on a walk around the train station. I don’t want to spoil it too much for anyone planning to go, but let me say the experience is far better than any description I could give and I would reccomend that anyone attending dOCUMENTA (13) starts their day this way. I am not normally a fan of video art. Had it not been for a friend who had already attended the festival, I would not have done it and I would really have missed out.
The exhibit really makes you think about your surroundings and how little you normally pay attention to the things going on around you. It is interesting to see the world from someone elses eyes and point of view. At times the boundaries between reality and what is happening in the video blur, leaving you feeling very confused and foolish! By the end of the video, you start to think that the ordinary people going about their everyday business in the train station are putting on a private performance just for you.