The media collection of the documenta archives, together with students of the art academy, was able to realize a properly comprehensive documentation of documenta 14 in Kassel. For good reasons, a documentation project such as this must be carefully planned and strive to achieve maximum objectivity, necessary distance and formal rigor. Sometimes something extraordinary happens, be it due to a small deviation or just out of plain good luck—for example, when the documentation participates in the work in an unexpected and unplanned way:

On June 23, 2017, our team filmed the public action “The Trojan Horse. Burning the Canon” by media artist Daniel García Andújar (born 1966). Following the tradition of the Valencian Fallas Festival, where dolls are ritually burnt to release things no longer needed and to retain things to be preserved, the action ended with the burning of Andújar's sculpture “The Trojan Horse”. The burning of the sculpture was preceded by a kind of procession from the Neue Hauptpost to Nordstadtpark, where our filmmaker Michel Esselbrügge had the spontaneous idea of attaching one of our cameras to the accompanying sculpture. And thus the camera, filming 360 degrees, sneaked up to the sculpture, into Nordstadtpark, and past the security barriers to where the burning was to take place. As a spectator, you could now accompany the sculpture from its own perspective. These last few minutes, in which the sculpture eerily moves farther and farther away from the clamor of the crowd, seem strangely sad and oppressive, yet at the same time liberating. (By the way, nothing happened to the camera—it was removed just in time!)

Around ten hours of video material was shot of this nearly four hours long action and is available in the media collection.


Alexander Zeisberg