Die documenta fifteen als Zäsur? Kunst, Politik, Öffentlichkeit

Symposium with contribution by Nicole Deitelhoff (in German with simultaneous translation into English)

Darstellung ineinandergreifender Kreise

Docu­menta fifteen (June 18 to September 25, 2022) was the focal point of a debate on the present of the Holo­caust and colo­nialism. With a certain distance to the events of that time, docu­menta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH wants to look ahead from docu­menta fifteen with the sym­posium conceived by the docu­menta Institute: What impact has docu­menta fifteen had on art, politics and the public? In a series of talks, Nicole Deitel­hoff, Klaus Holz, Yael Kupfer­berg, Thomas Macho, Meron Mendel, Armin Nassehi, Maria Neu­mann and Natan Sznaider will have their say. The event will be moderated by Heinz Bude.

The back­ground for the symposium is a research project on docu­menta fifteen as a public event and place of discourse, led by Meron Mendel and Heinz Bude. It deals with the dis­pute over an exhi­bition of contem­porary art and the question of what role a European-oriented modernity plays in a world society that can no longer be under­stood solely in terms of Europe. The publi­cation of the research project is planned for summer 2024.

When: Friday, November 17, 7–9pm and Saturday, November 18, 10am–4pm
Where: UK 14, Untere Karlsstr. 14, 34117 Kassel

Admission free, no registration required. Limited seating capacity. Live broadcast in the anteroom. In German with simultaneous translation into English.

Live streaming:
Link on November 17, 2023, in Englisch: ttps://youtube.com/live/NaNSkpYjink
Link on November 18, 2023, in Englisch: https://youtube.com/live/ZrKu4_sKxD4



Friday November 17, 2023

from 6:30pm



  • Welcome: Andreas Hoffmann
  • Greeting: Angela Dorn
  • Moderation: Heinz Bude


Module 1: German conflicts of interpretation?
As a prelude, the art event of docu­menta fifteen will be examined as a test case for the change in the politi­cal culture of the Federal Republic of Germany. What is non-negotiable and in what respects are nego­tiations necessary?

Saturday November 18, 2023

from 9:30am



Module 2: docu­menta as an exhibition and media event
Next, the focus will be on the inter­ferences between the perso­nal experience of docu­menta fifteen and the media coverage of docu­menta fifteen. What tensions, con­flicts and divisions have arisen in the reception?

  • Armin Nassehi
  • Klaus Holz


Module 3: Israel and global unrest
Finally, the un­spoken impli­cations of the debate will be addressed. In re­actions to the criticism of docu­menta fifteen, a dis­tinction has been made be­tween a legi­timate and an illegi­timate "critique of Israel". What un­rest is associated with the name Israel and by whom?

  • Natan Sznaider
  • Thomas Macho


Lunch Break


Module 4: Art and its contamination
Last but not least, the trace of conta­mination in the history of the docu­menta exhibitions will be taken up. Here the his­torical analysis en­counters the personal confron­tation with the matter. What fears and anxieties have the various docu­menta exhibitions gene­rated and in whom?

  • Maria Neumann
  • Yael Kupferberg

Further information can be found on the documenta Institute website.