Harald Szeemann’s documenta 5 is considered one the most important exhibitions in the history of art. But hardly anyone is familiar with its original concept, which, in the spirit of May 1968, turned radically against art as something you could own. Instead of the art object, the collective event took centre stage. Bazon Brock, who worked with Szeemann on the project, talks about the exhibition that could have been.
Many people are anxious that the growing class divide in the art world and the succession of record-breaking prices paid for contemporary art endanger the belief system supporting it. But why is nobody worried about money itself? Isn’t what happens at an auction that money celebrates its freedom, its release from the burden of being a means of comparison? Is art the new money? On a currency that lives from the bank of the gaze, into which we all make payments.
It was one of the biggest meetings of art and pop culture in the last ten years. But was it also a game changer? And what were the consequences for the participants? When Jay-Z adapted Marina Abramović's performance "The Artist is Present" (2010) for his video "Picasso Baby" at New York's Pace Gallery in 2013, many wondered: how did Abramović end up here? New York’s art scene was the audience, with Abramović herself as the star. Looking back, Marina wonders this too. At her recent retrospective at SESC Pompeia, São Paulo, she openly discussed the drawbacks of having replaced the physical, face-to-face encounter with the camera, and having become a brand.
Martin Kippenberger’s idea of an art that reflects its social conditions has evolved into an art world that integrates everything. What happens when the work dissolves into its context and the form of the work becomes a form of life?