Dorothea von Hantelmann

Notizen zur Ausstellung

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Dorothea von Hantelmann
Notizen zur Ausstellung

Text(s) by Dorothea von Hantelmann

Series: dOCUMENTA (13): 100 Notizen - 100 Gedanken

German, English

2012. 20 pp., 4 ills.


14.90 x 21.00 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-2937-6

How can it be that the Artistic Director of the dOCUMENTA (13) can talk about a certain kind of “obsolescence of the exhibition”? Dorothea von Hantelmann examines this question with reference to a conversation with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and provides some insight in her forthcoming book project. While more museums are being built, more biennials realized, and more visitors than ever are being counted, criticism of the current forms of exhibition grows. The historical development of the museum as an institution shows that the locations in which art is presented are increasingly turning away from the task of “showing objects” (as defined by the modern middle-class society) and looking more and more to the experiential content of things. Yet, the classic works of art condense time into an object and are reliant upon a reception that extends over time—something that is only seldom achieved today. The white cube successfully shifted the focus “from the produced object to the consuming subject,” actually making exhibitions—in the sense of simply putting objects on display—obsolete. Instead, the perception of art must be a “social ritual,” and at the same time the museum’s lines of tradition and legitimating power have to be maintained.

Dorothea von Hantelmann (*1969) teaches art history at the Freie Universität Berlin.

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Art Dictionary


The documenta (Kassel, Germany) is regarded as the world´s most important exhibition of contemporary art today. Ever since the first show in 1955, the documenta has made considerable contributions to the history of art.

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