Documenta 16 Proposal Draft
Our core concept is „Keep Record by Tying Knots“, which comes from a primitive way of recording and transmitting information before the appearance of writing. The word „结“ in Chinese characters means a knot formed by a rope, and also refers to a state of interconnection and inseparability. This concept contains our attitude: Return and Remember, which means that we want to make Documenta as a „knot“ under the crisis, a simpler and more direct way than writing to communicate stories, record memories. In this way, we will ﬁnd out how human beings can continue to survive and develop in time and space, along this „rope“. And after ﬁve years, we still want to develop the combined meaning of „Documenta“ („Documentation“ and „Presentation“), hoping to emphasize public memory and collective consciousness in response to a changing and uncertain world.
During the early brainstorming process, we considered the series of social and spiritual crises caused by the pandemic in the historical scope from now to the future, trying to discuss the situation in terms of our own cultural notions. Facing the limitation of movement in physical space and the separated international situation, we extracted the cultural concepts that symbolize harmony and cooperation in traditional Chinese culture, such as „Datong(⼤ 同)“ and „Yuan(圆)“, and searched for the disappearing collective memory. Because of the impressiveness of the Documenta archives, we believe that the shared memory and heritage of history are also important factors in the sustainable development of our world.