Documenta exhibition

Celebrating Art's Power to Shock

Docuemnta Mecom
The celebrations last week includes an exhibition by the Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The decision to hold the next show in Athens, where Germany is being attacked because of the Greece crisis, is controversial.

  • Facts


    • The Documenta art show takes place every five years; the first was held in 1955 and the next one will be in 2017.
    • The show, in the town of Kassel, has featured artists like Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.
    • In 2012, the Documenta drew 860,000 visitors, almost double the number who attended the Biennale in Venice.
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The world’s most important contemporary art show, Germany’s Documenta, turns 60 and this week’s celebrations include concerts, exhibitions and a touch of controversy too.

The exhibition takes place every five years and its presentation of the latest developments in contemporary art draws visitors from across the globe to Kassel, a large central German town.

The show retains its power to shock, not only with the art it presents but its changing format too. The next Documenta in 2017 will be hosted in Kassel and Athens, a city where all things German are not particularly popular at the moment.

When Polish curator Adam Szymczyk announced last year that the Documenta would open and partially take place in Greece’s capital, an outcry broke out in the exhibition’s home town.

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