20 Apr 11

“dOCUMENTA (13) in a state of hope,” Cairo lecture and launch of first notebooks, April 21, 2011, 7 pm Goethe Institute

“100 Notes – 100 Thoughts.” Now available: The first 17 notebooks in both printed and e-book editions.

A notebook is a rehearsal space.


It allows the words, the lines, the drawings to be there before being actually there for anybody else than one’s self. Thinking is not yet there, writing is not yet there, method is not yet there and, slowly, all of them fall into place. The notebook is a receiver, since it is used to quickly capture our thoughts as well as the thoughts of others, and images, too. As the first public presentation of dOCUMENTA (13)’s 100 Notizen—100 Gedanken / 100 Notes—100 Thoughts series, the Cairo conversation is conceived around the importance of exploring the space before a space. After the conversation, Sarah Rifky, a curator and Cairo resident, will host a discussion with Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev.


To re-imagine public space requires the reclaiming of critical privacy, first of all, a space where we can prepare ourselves for a comprehension of what a new foundation of the public realm may entail. The notebooks are an attempt to get closer to the point of confluence between artistic and intellectual life, inside and outside one’s own world. The “inside” is pure potential, the “outside” the possibility of its actualization. Both are needed more than ever and are articulated in a state of hope. How do we connect the minds in order to see how promises can be fulfilled? How can challenges be transformed into methods, and how can the transformations in thinking translate into a social field that is by necessity also normative?


Is Cairo today the notebook for a new Cairo, for a new political, cultural awareness in the region?


The notebooks appear in three different formats (A6, A5, B5) and they are between 16 to 48 pages long. The contributors come from various fields such as art, science, philosophy and psychology, anthropology, political theory, literature studies, and poetry. They include Etel Adnan, Kenneth Goldsmith, Péter György, Emily Jacir, Susan Buck-Morss, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, William Kentridge, Peter L. Galison, Erkki Kurenniemi, Lars Bang Larsen, György Lukács, Christoph Menke, Paul Ryan, Ayreen Anastas, Rene Gabri, Vandana Shiva, G. M. Tamás, Michael Taussig, Jalal Toufic, Ian Wallace, and Lawrence Weiner. Commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13)’s Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev together with Agent, Member of Core Group, and Head of Department Chus Martínez, this series is edited by Head of Publications, Bettina Funcke. The “100 Notes – 100 Thoughts” series will be launched at various places and in various moments, each accompanied by a discussion on the nature and the aim of this publishing project. You can buy individual notebooks or subscribe to the entire series of 100 notebooks at For further information about dOCUMENTA (13), including the publications, visit

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