On August 4th at 8:00 pm, the documenta 12 will be entering its second half, the first 50 days of the exhibition having elapsed.
And that with record numbers of visitors: on Saturday around 330,000 paying visitors will have seen the exhibition in Kassel (including estimates for the coming three days). In comparison, a total of 314,000 visitors were recorded at the same time in 2002.
It would be frivolous to attempt to estimate total visitor figures for the entire duration of the exhibition - no one can predict developments in August and September. Nevertheless, according to the Chief Executive Officer Bernd Leifeld: "We are confident that at the end of the exhibition we will have had the pleasure of greeting as many, if not more visitors than in 2002".
The documenta, a large scale exhibition which still maintains its commitment to education and mediation after over 50 years, continues to motivate incredible numbers of people. People who, as described by the Artistic Director Roger M. Buergel, "are incredibly inquisitive and open minded about the documenta. An exhibition which intends to mediate a different picture of reality to that of the notorious Anglo-American".
After the first 50 days, which Roger M. Buergel continually spent in the exhibition itself along with the curator Ruth Noack, he is convinced that: "Art functions as a medium of knowledge of the world, at least this is what I experience on a daily basis in the exhibition and in my encounters with the public. There is a wonderful atmosphere here, full of interest and concentration."
That the exhibition extends beyond the actual art space has clearly been recognised and welcomed by the public. The daily program in the documenta Halle, the documenta 12 advisory board, documenta 12 magazines and art education have all created a strong resonance. The Lunch Lectures at 1:00 pm each day continue to be attended by an interested and relaxed public, as have the activities of the documenta 12 advisory board in the city itself. For example the "Salon des Refusés", where the employed and unemployed discuss the crisis of the wage-labour society.
The documenta 12 magazines and weekly guest editors from around the world have provided a space for the exchange, debate and translation of ideas - events which have also enjoyed a lively input from large numbers of interested exhibition visitors.
The interest in art education at documenta 12 has also reached record levels. The diverse range of initiatives, from guided tours by pupils to audio tours with the S-Guide, have enjoyed an incredible popularity: That this years documenta has taken a conscious approach to involving children and young people with its "aushecken" (Hatching out ideas) program, has also been greeted enthusiastically. At the weekends additional programs are already being organised.
Art education will continue to be accorded a central role over the next 50 days of the exhibition, generating considerable attention. In addition to the daily education program, different art educators will continue to organise projects with special interest groups, such as the project "Sprechen und Stillen" (Speak and Suckle), specially targeted at parents with children in their first year of life. Or the joint work and exhibition visits with Russian-German women. Just two examples from a range of projects which will continue to run over the next 50 days. In addition, the Artistic Director Roger M. Buergel and the Curator Ruth Noack will be extending their efforts to guide visitors through the exhibition in an open form.
That the numbers of visitors to the film program in the Gloria cinema, daily at 8:30 pm, have exceeded expected figures is highly gratifying and is clearly not just a consequence of the often far from summer-like weather, rather it is thanks to the diverse program - and the committed documenta 12 public.
In the protected press section of our website under www.documenta.de
you can download a large selection of high resolution pictures reflecting the atmosphere at the exhibition.
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