Documenta Opens In Athens

If you want to be surprised by art, go to Athens. Documenta 14, which opened to invited guests in the Greek capital the other day, puts lesser-known artists from far-flung countries at the forefront; big names are few and far between. The idea is to shake preconceptions amid the “current sad and threatening state of official politics”, the artistic director Adam Szymczyk said at a press conference. For the first time, the prestigious contemporary art exhibition opens in a city other than Kassel, Germany, where it has been held every five years since 1955. The two locations of Documenta are at the heart of Szymczyk’s concept. Both exhibitions—the Kassel iteration will open to the public on 10 June (until 17 September)—stand on equal footing, Szymczyk has been keen to reiterate. Previous artistic directors have attempted a move away from Kassel—with parallel events taking place in Kabul, Banff and Alexandria—but the scope of this year’s programme is unprecedented.

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