16 Dec 10

“100 Notes – 100 Thoughts.” The first contributions to dOCUMENTA (13) publications are announced

As a prelude to the 2012 exhibition, dOCUMENTA (13) and Hatje Cantz are publishing a series of notebooks, 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts, that is comprised of facsimiles of existing notebooks, commissioned essays, collaborations, and conversations. 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.

A note is a trace, a word, a drawing that all of a sudden becomes part of thinking, and is transformed into an idea. This publication project follows that path, presenting the mind in a prologue state, in a pre-public arena. A space for intimacy and not yet of criticism, dOCUMENTA (13) is publishing the unpublishable, the voice—and the reader is our alibi and ally. Note taking encompasses witnessing, drawing, writing, and diagrammatic thinking; it is speculative, manifests a preliminary moment, a passage, and acts as a memory aid.

With contributions by authors from a range of disciplines, such as art, science, philosophy and psychology, anthropology, economic- and political theory, language- and literature studies, as well as poetry, 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts constitutes a space of <nobr>dOCUMENTA (13)</nobr> to explore how thinking emerges and lies at the heart of re-imagining the world. In its cumulative nature, this publication project is a continuous articulation of the emphasis of dOCUMENTA (13) on the propositional, underlining the flexible mental moves to generate space for the possible. Thoughts, unlike statements, are always variations: this is the spirit in which these notebooks are proposed.

The notebooks, designed by Leftloft, will be published from March 2011 on in three different formats, 16 to 48 pages, in English and German. Find more details under

001: Michael Taussig: Fieldwork Notebooks

What is it that makes notebooks so fascinating? This question is discussed by anthropologist Michael Taussig for whom fieldwork notebooks are an indispensable tool. Starting point of his investigation is Walter Benjamin who obsessively filled his notebooks and was intrigued by their materiality. Roland Barthes, Le Corbusier, and Joan Didion are some of the many other notorious note writers that Taussig refers to, to crystallize what a notebook really is. Far more than a mere “thing,” it develops a life of its own, which is fed exactly by what hasn’t been written down. And in the end it takes possession of its possessor: the notebook is a magical object, it’s a fetish. – Anthropologist Michael Taussig is a professor at Columbia University, New York.

002: Ian Wallace: The First documenta, 1955

In 1955, the first documenta took place in Kassel. Originally planned as a one-time exhibition, it takes place every five years and has become a primary periodic moment of exhibition and reflection on contemporary art. In this 1987 lecture, held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Ian Wallace sheds light on the first documenta. After World War II, the exhibition followed the aim to represent and rehabilitate those artists who had been vilified as “degenerate” by the National Socialist regime. The first documenta is a mirror and protagonist of the postwar cultural and political climate. Under the guidance of Arnold Bode, and with the help of Werner Haftmann, it has notably contributed to what has been called the triumphal march of abstraction which helped West-Germany to reintegrate itself into European modernity. – Ian Wallace (b. 1943) is a Canadian artist based in Vancouver. He has taught at the University of British Columbia as well as at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

003: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev: Letter to a Friend
In her “Letter to a Friend,” Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, artistic director of dOCUMENTA (13), gives an insight into her working process, outlining some of the key issues around the 2012 exhibition. In shifting voices, such as storytelling, theoretical speculation, travel diary, press release, or critical reflection, she describes dOCUMENTA (13) as something more than an exhibition—for her it is a state of mind. It is a constellation of artistic acts and gestures that are already taking place as well as an exhibition that will open on June 6, 2012, and that will run for 100 days. Given the heterogeneity of the audience it addresses and the historical development of group exhibitions as “a non-commercial place to intensely aggregate,” what can this exhibition be today? Opening the boundaries of disciplines and fields of knowledge and emphasizing the procedural questions, dOCUMENTA (13) is coming together by thinking through a number of composite entangled ontologies instead of following a defined curatorial concept.

004: Emily Jacir & Susan Buck-Morss
This notebook combines photographs by Palestinian artist Emily Jacir with a text by political philosopher Susan Buck-Morss who teaches at the City University of New York, written in response to the images and to conversations with the artist. Jacir’s photographs depict the former Benedictine monastery of Breitenau, near Kassel. A prison camp in the Nazi era, it became a girl’s reformatory after World War II. These images as well as other photographs taken in Kassel are accompanied by selections from the artist’s diary entries, which investigate questions around the histories of the sites. Recalling Walter Benjamin’s reading of Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus, Buck-Morss’ textual response unravels how truth and collective memory are established and how the inextricable relation between knowledge and power leads to the selection of what is archived and remembered.

005: György Lukács: Notes on Georg Simmel’s Lessons, 1906/07, Introduction: Lívia Páldi

A facsimile reprint of a student notebook by the influential Hungarian sociologist of literature and Marxist György Lukács (1885–1971, Budapest), including notes from Georg Simmel’s Berlin lessons of 1906/07. With an introduction by Lívia Páldi, chief curator at Mucsarnok / Kunsthalle Budapest.

006: Etel Adnan
Lebanese-American poet, essayist, and artist Etel Adnan (b. 1925 in Beirut) writes about love and its cost we are not willing to pay today. She has published numerous books in Arabic, English, and French. Her recent publications in English include Master of the Eclipse (2009); In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country (2005); Seasons (2008); and In/somnia (2002).

007: Erkki Kurenniemi, Introduction: Lars Bang Larsen

A reprint of diary pages from October 1980 by Erkki Kuriennemi (b. 1941), nuclear physicist turned artist and protagonist of electronic music in Finland whose work refutes, with a radical imagination, the common place that bases technology in frigid thought and loss of sensuality. Over decades, Kurenniemi incessantly built up his archive of the self comprised of photographs, floppy discs and harddrives, hundreds of video and audio tapes as well as dozens of notebooks like the one presented here. With an introduction by Lars Bang Larsen.

008: Lawrence Weiner: IF IN FACT THERE IS A CONTEXT
For this series, artist Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942) has made an artist’s book in exactly the same format (A6) and with the same number of pages (24) as his first contribution to documenta 5 in 1972, curated by Harald Szeemann. The partly handwritten instructions, statements, definitions, poems, and pictograms give an insight into his artistic practice and—as eloquently as poetically—transfer his ideas around dOCUMENTA (13) into language. A central figure in Conceptual art from its beginnings, Weiner works in a wide variety of media including video, books, performance, and installation.

Upcoming contributions by Mario Bellatin - Franco Berardi aka Bifo - Andrea Bruno - Cornelius Castoriadis / Introduction: Nikos Papastergiadis - Peter L. Galison & William Kentridge - Ashraf and Mariam Ghani - Kenneth Goldsmith - Peter György - Daniel Heller-Roazen - Brian Holmes - Alejandro Jodorowsky / Introduction: Chus Martínez - Pamela M. Lee - Christoph Menke - Romaine Moreton - Hans Ulrich Obrist - Paul Ryan - G. M. Tamás - Jalal Toufic.