Beim Bootshaus Ahoi
I: What did you see already, and what impressions stayed in your mind so far?
W1: We have seen the documenta-Halle, we have seen some of the purple area [on the map of locations] – We can’t say the names, we don’t speak … I can’t pronounce them. I can show you in the map. The Fritz [Fridericianum], we just came from the church [St. Kunigundis] and the one that was next to it, with the walls and the text. And some pop-up places around the city.
W2: Yeah, we met in the ruruHaus, and then we walked around, had some cake, at a pop up that is around here [shows area around documenta-Halle on the map].
W1: It’s across the river.
W2: Cooperative café, not documenta-Halle. Then we came back and went to documenta-Halle, and then to Friedrichsplatz. I was here already so I went to the Orangerie. And I saw some of the old documenta stuff, too. Some of these trees, the Kassel Hauptbahnhof Installation, then today we went to the church [St. Kunigundis], to the H [Hübner-Areal on the map].
I: Quite a tour.
W2: Yes, we are focused. [lacht] We got a list from the internet, we didn’t exactly know what to do, researched online for suggestions.
W1: In my case a day and a half.
I: What were the most vivid impressions that stay?
W2: How honest can we be?
W1: It’s anonymous. [laughs]
I: The more honest, the better.
W2: Well, overall I might say it is a little bit confusing. Especially getting around to the places with the transportation.
W1: Yes. Google Earth doesn’t show the Trams, and at the beginning we were trying to use the app for documenta, and it wasn’t linking the Trams either. And that we got the website with all the Trams, and they are the best way of transportation between the places.
W2: So we kind of depend on a map to go around in the city. Otherwise we walk, but it is quite far everything within the cast. It is really nice that the transportation is included in the tickets.
W1: They are expensive.
W2: But then: I arrived here from the station, and to go to my Airbnb I couldn’t find anything, I couldn’t find any tram or whatever, so I walked and then, walking, I discovered that there are Trams. I saw them, and there is nothing on the maps. So this possibility is a bit weird, confusing.
W1: I missed a little bit of – which I am not sure whether it’s a problem – unity between the works. Even the labels, a unified way of treating everything. Some things look a little bit improvised, which I think is part of the process maybe – I don’t know.
W2: Kind of. I mean, we depend on technology again. If we want to understand some things, we have to go to our phones and scan the QR-codes or research. And that dependence makes a barrier between the artwork and ourselves. We are in our phones, I am not such a fan of that. Some museums are into that, I’m not such a fan. And here, everything is on the phone. So we kind of have to have the phone.
W1: And sometimes the labels, sometimes they are very small, and there are often many people trying to read them. And the other thing: the lines, because we are on the last weekend. There were some lines yesterday, not today. But in documenta-Halle and Fridericianum, there was a line, and when we got in, there was a line for one of the installations, so we just skipped it.
W2: But we need some positivity. I think the representation of different countries, cities, social questions, are present in the documenta. In the artworks and in the artists as well. But I was also expecting to see them here, around. The artists – some interaction, some more movement, maybe performances, events, especially on the last weekend. I didn’t see any.
W1: I think there are, we just didn’t know. So last night a friend of mine was saying: “Ah, there is that performance going on at 10 o’clock, and we were just in the apartment, and it was so cozy there, and we didn’t go out to go there.” But the communication could be a little bit better. We saw in some locations: “There’s going to be a party tonight, or tomorrow.” But what about the performances? I never see any. Like, more present in the space.
I: How much did you know about the documenta? What was your image and how did it change through your visit?
W2: I’m a conservator, a painting conservator, so history has always been in my profession. I studied these things. documenta one all the works that have been here, all the social events that have been here. I was expecting more of those. I saw a few of those, that is why I am saying that the social is present, but I was hoping to see some more. Especially with Iran happening now, the war in Ukraine, I was hoping for more manifests, but … I read more about it, so I am quite critical, about what I was hoping for, expecting.
W1: I think the occupancy of the city is really interesting. Many places spread, many outside installations, I think it’s the best, because it’s actually in the city. I’m an architect, so the urban part of it interesting to me, but I am also an exhibition designer, so that is why I lack a bit of uniformity or design in places, looking a bit improvised. Which is not a problem. I think it could be more invested into working with the artists. But I am really happy to be here. I heard a lot of critiques, scandal. So maybe that is why there aren’t so many.
I: Did you see things you read in the critiques reflected in what you saw?
W2: We heard about the antisemitic stuff that was taken away, so we didn’t see anything about it here. And some contradictions between many people, and discussions. All these spheres didn’t influence what we saw actually. If I had not known, I wouldn’t have realized.