Welcome to the archive section of documenta by dOCUMENTA (13)

In 1955, documenta was held in Kassel for the first time on the initiative of Arnold Bode. Since then, it has come to define a key periodic moment when, at five-year intervals, contemporary art is generated, exhibited, and elaborated. The people who are interested in art and in its relation to the world meet in Kassel, assess the situation, and share their views.
During the German civic reconstruction of the early 1950s, documenta was conceived as a direct response to the Third Reich's policies toward "degenerate art". Over the years, documenta came to signify, in the context of Western Europe, a space in which freedom of expression could be achieved. More recently, it has been a platform for a critique of Euro-Centrism. In contrast to other periodic international exhibitions that have emerged from the world fair models of the nineteenth century, a strong theoretical grounding and a sense of urgency in relation to the question of art’s place in society have characterized documenta.
This archive offers a subjective, non-representative selection of images from the documenta archive of artworks and parallel events, ranging from documenta, 1955, to documenta 12, 2007. It contains images of key works and less well-known works, and shows the different ways in which various indoor and outdoor venues have been used for the exhibitions. This selection was made by Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, together with other dOCUMENTA (13) participants, including Dora Garcia and Eva Scharrer.