“Come hear Uncle John’s band by the riverside. Got some things to talk about, here beside the rising tide …” several times a day, the polyphonic country song by the Grateful Dead could be heard on the 1st floor of the Fridericianum. "Uncle John's Band" accompanied acoustically the dance performance "Accumulation" by Trisha Brown (1936-2017) during the hundred days of documenta 12. 12 dancers spread out in the three entrances of the room and moved in repetitive gestures. Brown on "Accumulation":


“One simple gesture is presented. This gesture is repeated until it is thoroughly integrated into my kinesthetic system. Gesture 2 is then added. Gesture 1 and 2 are repeated until they are assimilated, then gesture 3 is added. I continue adding gestures until my system can support no further additions.” (Brown, Trisha: Dance and Art in Dialogue, 1961-2001, Teicher, Hendel)


In the next dance performance "Floor of the Forest", 3 to 4 dancers climbed a square metal frame standing on stilts in the middle of the room, in which a net of ropes was stretched, hung with garments. The dancers climbed between the ropes and slipped into the garments hanging there. Bodies that normally perform this activity vertically formed an abstract pattern of movement between horizontal dynamics and vertical gravity.


32 dancers were engaged for the duration of documenta 12 to show these performances several times on each of the hundred days. Brown selected the dancers in Kassel in Spring 2007. In order to organize them, there was a 158-page book that has been preserved in the documenta archiv files under the title "Tänzerbuch". The book served to communicate between the dancers and to publish the respective "schedule of duty". The different styles used to communicate the schedule are particularly fascinating. They range from a simple table up to drawings, which nevertheless presented the list of the individual actors. The book itself can be viewed in the records and files department of the archive in folder 442 of documenta 12.

The US-American Brown was one of the most influential choreographers of the postmodern era. In 1970 she founded the "Trisha Brown Dance Company" and worked with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg (1925 - 2008), Donald Judd (1928 - 1994), Laurie Anderson (*1947) and John Cage (1912 - 1992).

Berlind Schneider