It is with great sadness that the documenta archiv announces the death of photographer and architect Monika Nikolic, who passed away in Kassel on February 12 at the age of 79. Nikolic accompanied the Kassel documenta with her camera for more than four decades. Her special eye for objects and spaces, her photographic style, which was characterized by aesthetic precision and technical sophistication, is unmistakable. The important photo collection in the documenta archiv was created during the documenta exhibitions between 1982 and 2017. One of her photographic focuses was always on the outdoor artworks in Kassel's urban space and the Karlsaue.


Born in Vienna, she initially studied architecture in Graz and Stuttgart. In 1966, she married the architect Vladimir Nikolic, who took up a professorship at the Gesamthochschule Kassel in 1976. After studying photography as a guest student at what is now the Kunsthochschule Kassel in 1982, she worked as an architectural photographer for architecture and landscape planning offices.


In addition to contacts with Floris M. Neusüss and Gunter Rambow, with whom she studied photography in Kassel, her encounter with Annemarie and Lucius Burckhardt was formative for her future career. At the end of the 1970s, she founded the Kassel section of the Deutscher Werkbund together with the two main representatives of promenadology and interdisciplinary social research in Kassel. This close personal connection repeatedly led to joint projects: in 1988, for example, Nikolic documented the "Voyage to Tahiti" with a group of students from the Department of Architecture, Urban and Landscape Planning. Following in the footsteps of Captain James Cook (1728-1779) and his German companion, the naturalist Georg Forster (1754-1794), the journey did not lead to the distant South Seas, but to the hilly landscape of the former military training area in the Kassel Dönche.