A seemingly unreal space, dirty-white walls that rise from the dark floor without an end in sight, neon tubes floating at half height in the hazy air. Beneath, individuals positioned in a magnetically charged overall structure, like extras. What seems like the description of an exemplary scene from Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi masterpiece "Blade Runner", on the other hand, is a snapshot of documenta 5, in which Peter Roer's "6 Project Montages (Progression)" (1966), "Straight Curved Line X Set" (1971), and "White Distorted Square Circle" (1970) by Robert Mangold cast their shadows on the wall. We are in a room on the first floor of the Museum Fridericianum in 1972, the upper parts of the whitewashed brick walls are exposed. The building had not yet been completely refurbished. The scene has a cinematic effect and lingers in your memory.


Who took the photo with the enchanting effect?


In May 2019, the holdings of the Media Collection were expanded by a collection of 153 colour slides with unique documenta 5 exhibition views: photographer unfortunately unknown! The objective now is to reach a contractual agreement with the photographer in order to make this previously unpublished treasure accessible to all users of the documenta archiv – beyond a mere viewing in the reading room.


To publish a digital copy of one of the slides in the context of this "docArt of the Month" would be a copyright infringement. A dilemma - how can the documenta archiv establish contact with the author without publishing the diapositives?


As a pragmatic approach, we write about it in this section and can make the photographs available for inspection in the rooms of the documenta archiv. We include a sketch of the described slide as an illustration, which, according to copyright law, can be seen as a transcription of a document. In addition, we enclose an image of the work documentation from the media collection with two selected objects from the donation.


The documenta archiv welcomes you to visit us, take a look at the photo collection in the reading room and, if possible, give us information on its authorship.


Karoline Achilles and Alexander Zeisberg