Magazine article Artforum International

World's a Stage

Magazine article Artforum International

World's a Stage

Article excerpt

THESE DAYS IT'S TRULY CHALLENGING to make a resonant curatorial statement amid the chaotic conversation that surrounds proliferating mega-exhibitions and regional biennials. Okwui Enwezor, artistic director of Documenta 11, and his cocur-ators (Carlos Basualdo, Ute Meta Bauer, Susanne Ghez, Sarat Maharaj, Mark Nash, and Octavio Zaya) have found a new way to make their voices heard, turning Documenta into a series of events that will crisscross the globe for over a year before settling in Kassel, Germany, the show's traditional host city, in June 2002. Enwezor says of the uprooting: "Kassel, of course, remains important, but only in the sense that it is connected to a network of knowledge producing spaces and not isolated from them."

The idea is to stage four off-site "platforms" -- each made up of lectures and panel discussions addressing a specific theme--that will culminate in a fifth, the exhibition itself. "Democracy Unrealized," to be held in Vienna from March 15 to April 23, will inaugurate the series, bringing together international scholars, critics, and activist groups (from Angela Davis and Stuart Hall to Slavoj Zizek and Kein Mensch ist Illegal) to discuss the idea of democracy as a perennially flawed "work-in progress." "Experiments with Truth: Transitional Justice and the Process of Truth and Reconciliation" will follow in New Delhi in May, and "Creolite and Creolization" and "Under Siege: Four African Cities, Freetown, Johannesburg, Lagos, Kinshasa" are working titles for conferences in the West Indies (November 2001) and Lagos, Nigeria (March 2002). As for the Kassel finale, Documenta 11's organizers are unlikely to be as secretive about which artists they plan to include as their predecessor, the notoriously tight-lipped curator of Documenta X, Catherine David. …

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