Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director of documenta 14
In 2017, documenta 14 will establish a second site—Athens—bringing Kassel and the Greek capital onto equal footing as the two locations of the exhibition. Thus documenta’s undisputed position as host will be abandoned for another role, that of guest, in Athens.
The working schedule envisages documenta 14 to open in Athens in April 2017; it will then be inaugurated two months later in Kassel, on June 10. This will ensure that there will be a month of overlap, with two parts of the exhibition running in parallel. Moreover, though each iteration of the exhibition will be developed as an autonomous project, they will inform each other’s content while not repeating the form, with several distinctive venues in Athens, as in Kassel. Documenta 14 intends to learn from the city of Athens and its citizens, instead of parachuting a prepackaged event from Kassel into one or several picturesque venues. Rather than being merely a sum of two destinations, documenta 14 will unfold in a three-year-long process of learning and producing knowledge, while also engaging in the process of instituting spaces for public life in both locations. In this process, both cities’ communities will become involved, contributing to the project. Already, over the course of 2013 and 2014, several instructive meetings have taken place in Athens with a number of the city’s cultural producers who represented the diversity and contradictions of the Greek context today, beginning an ongoing discussion of collaboration with certain institutions there. In parallel, similar discussions have been led in Kassel.