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The American artist Frank Stella died on May 4 at the age of 87. The pioneer of minimalism was represented twice at the Kassel documenta with his large-format shaped canvases and reliefs.

D a t e s
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Dates & Events


Exhibition Politics: Book presentation at the Mattheuer Foundation, Leipzig

On March 23, the newly published volume "Exhibition Politics" by Alexia Pooth will be presented once again as part of the Leipzig Book Fair

DAY OF THE ARCHIVES in the Kassel market hall

The documenta archiv cordially invites you to take part in the nationwide DAY OF THE ARCHIVES, which will be held on March 2 and 3, 2024 under the theme 'Food and Drink'. As a member of the 'Archives in Northern Hesse' working group, we look forward to welcoming you to the Kassel Market Hall on Sunday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Book presentation: Alexia Pooth, Exhibition Politics. Die documenta und die DDR (Kerber 2024)

On February 21, we will present the latest publication in the documenta archiv's publication series, the book "Exhibition Politics. die documenta und die DDR" by Alexia Pooth. On this occasion, we cordially invite you to a panel discussion with the author and the art critic Eduard Beaucamp.

on February 21, 2024
at 7 pm
in the rotunda of the Fridericianum

Auerbach & Darboven & Kassel Expert talk with Prof. Dr. Dietmar Rübel

Hanne Darboven (1941-2009) is one of the outstanding artists of the 20th century. Dietmar Rübel's lecture will focus on Hanne Darboven's works presented as part of the documenta, in particular her little-known filmic oeuvre. With an introduction by Luise von Nobbe (Curatorial Department, Fridericianum) and Julius Lehmann (Research Associate, documenta archiv).

IN | OUT — Canonization Processes of Modern Art and the First documenta

The conference "IN | OUT" is dedicated to the complex mechanisms of selection in the context of the first documenta (1955). Curatorial decision-making processes, art-theoretical decisions, individual assessments of quality and personal networks, as well as economic interests and constraints will be discussed. At the same time, it is important to question the methodological and social relevance of the concept of canon.

Kasseler Museumsnacht 2023 - documenta movies: Films from the documenta archiv

A cinematic journey through time in the documenta exhibitions: The documenta archive presents highlights from its video collection as part of the Kassel Museum Night on September 2 and 3.

Proposition List #2: An Art-Lecture on Charlotte Solomon's "Life? or Theater?"

A cooperation of the Staatstheater Kassel with the documenta archiv: The Art Lecture on June 1 is dedicated to the German Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon (1917 Berlin - 1943 Auschwitz), whose dramatic work "Leben? oder Theater? Ein Singespiel" was shown at documenta (13) in the Fridericianum through selected gouaches.

Trying to Catch the Ephemeral

The ephemeral in the archive: As a Goethe Institut Fellow, Helga Lyubartovich has been researching the special genre of "ephemera" in the documenta archiv since the beginning of October. The focus is thus on daily printed matter such as brochures, leaflets, press releases, invitations or admission tickets. In her presentation, she provides insight into her research.

Guided Tour
nolde/kritik/documenta: Guided tour with the artist Mischa Kuball

Guided tour for visitors with the artist. On 9 February, Mischa Kuball will personally provide insights into his working methods and the genesis of the project "nolde/kritik/documenta".

nolde/kritik/documenta: Lecture by Prof. Dr. Rebekka Habermas on February 9

On 19 January and 9 February (both at 19:00) we will host two panel discussions to accompany the exhibition "nolde/kritik/documenta".

View the video recording.



Panel discussion on the exhibition nolde/kritik/documenta with Astrid Becker (connected via zoom), Birgitta Coers and Mischa Kuball

View the video recording

Exhibition Opening: nolde/criticism/documenta

A project by documenta archiv, the Draiflessen Collection, the Nolde Foundation Seebüll and Mischa Kuball

[no-indent] Date: Friday, December 12, 2022, 7pm

[no-indent] Place: First Floor of the Fridericianum

[no-indent] Emil Nolde (1867-1956) is one of the most famous artists of European avant-garde. His current perception is shaped by historical mythmaking and its deconstruction. The Düsseldorf conceptual artist Mischa Kuball (* 1959), supported by the Nolde Stiftung Seebüll, set out to trace this ambivalent figure.

Guided Tour

Guided tours of the exhibition "nolde/kritik/documenta" take place with our art educators Susanne Stein, Zaki Al-Maboren and Roland Knieg every Sunday at 4 pm.You are warmly invited!



Archive of Encounters

The "Archive of Encounters" is a guest at ruruHaus for one week. The event explores possibilities of giving events of ephemeral and situational art a digital space.


A cooperation of the documenta archiv with the production community nota.

Living archive of Open Working Methods

A cooperation between the documenta archiv and nota e.V.

Antisemitism in the Arts

An event by Bildungsstätte Anne Frank and documenta gGmbH

Vorschlagsliste #1: Lieber Girls als Beuys [Suggestion List #1: Better girls than Beuys]

Art Lecture & participatory foyer parcours on female artists & collaborators of the first documenta (1955) / cooperation with the Staatstheater Kassel

1929/1955 – The first documenta and the forgetting of an artist generation

A joint research and exhibition project of the Center for Persecuted Arts and the documenta archiv Kassel. Parallel to documenta 15 in 2022, both institutions will take a critical, reflective look back at the beginnings of the major exhibition.

the archive is the directive – presentation of obn_archive

5.30 - 8.00 pm @ruruHaus, Kassel

»Was wäre, wenn… documenta?« – Online-Vortrag von Andrea Pócsik

Lecture by Andrea Pócsik on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at 6:00 p.m.


Online via Zoom


In the context of the discussion series "From Vasarely to Off-Biennale: Hungarian artists at documenta".

38. Kasseler Dokfest

This year the documenta archiv cooperates again with the Kassel Dokfest. We support the film "Jonas in the Fields" by Peter Sempel online on November 19, 2021 at 5 p.m.

#14 The dislocated visuality and the memorial migrancy : documenta X in 1997 and Hong Kong now. Lecture by Vennes Cheng, Sau Wai

Vennes Cheng, Sau Wai anchors her research in documenta X to examine the criticality of the exhibition’s curatorial impulses that are emerging belatedly in current Hong Kong twenty-three years later, when the city is undergoing brutal socio-political changes after the imposition of a new National Security Law by China in 2020. She proposes that the city and documenta X are intertwined in various ways. 

The 3G-rules apply and facial masks are required.

#13 "What if… documenta?" – Lecture by Andrea Pócsik

In her lecture, the Hungarian cultural scientist Andrea Pócsik will show how the art world of the former Eastern Bloc state Hungary is represented in the holdings of the documenta archiv. She will focus on archiving as a process of producing of knowledge.

4th European Day of Restoration

For the fourth year in a row, the European Association of Conservators (E.C.C.O.) is organizing the Restoration Day. With a total of three contributions, the documenta archiv is also taking part and shedding light on restoration work on materials from the Harry Kramer Archive.

KW35 - Kasseler Woche der Museen

The documenta archiv is visiting the ruruHaus.

A Situated Archive of the Old Boys Network and its Discontents. Talk with Cornelia Sollfrank

Explorative talk with artist/researcher and pioneer of cyberfeminism Cornelia Sollfrank about the creation of an archive of the Old Boys Network (1997-2001).

Survival Room – Kassel 21 / Social Sculpture Lab

Starting on Saturday, June 19th, 2021, guests can visit the Survival Room of the "Kassel-21 / Social Sculpture Lab" at the Neue Galerie in Kassel in the year of Beuys' anniversary. The participatory project takes Joseph Beuys' "Social Sculpture" into the present: developed by artist Shelley Sacks in collaboration with the documenta archiv and the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, it is a global laboratory that offers visitors the opportunity to engage with Beuys' expanded concept of art and its potential for the future both online and on site in Kassel.

Victim or perpetrator? Theses on the National Socialist Past of the Curators of the first documenta (1955)

The digital conference on June 11, 2021 is dedicated to the history of the first documenta exhibition (1955) and the connection of its curators to National Socialism. The conference is a collaboration between the Kunsthochschule Kassel/Universität Kassel and the documenta archiv and can be followed via livestream on Youtube.

Kassel-21 / Social Sculpture Lab

The Kassel-21 / Social Sculpture Lab brings Joseph Beuys' Social Sculpture into the present. Developed by the artist Shelley Sacks for the documenta archiv, the Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel / Neue Galerie and the city of Kassel, it sees itself as a global laboratory that offers visitors the opportunity to engage with Beuys' expanded concept of art and fill it with new content.


From May 06-08, 2021, the online symposium "ARCHIVE PROBEN" of the interdisciplinary research group notanarchive will take place.


The documenta archiv is pleased to present you the virtual Platform6 in honor of Okwui Enwezor via the link www.documenta-platform6.de starting today.

Online Round Table der Draiflessen Collection

On occasion of the exhibition Emil Nolde - a critical approach by Mischa Kuball, the Draiflessen Collection invites you to an online round table on 21 January 2021 at 7 pm. Astrid Becker (Nolde Stiftung Seebüll), Birgitta Coers (documenta archivs), Mischa Kuball and Corinna Otto (Draiflessen Collection) will discuss the topic. The event will be moderated by Julia Voss (art critic and journalist). Participation is possible after registration at rueckmeldung@draiflessen.com by team.

37. Kasseler DokfestOnline

From November 18 till November 27 the 37th Kassel DokfestOnline will take place. This year, the documenta archiv is a cooperation partner for Ulrike Ottingers movie "Paris Calligrammes" which will be online from November 22, 2020 for 6 days. For further information see www.kasselerdokfest.de or https://kasseler-dokfest.culturebase.org/.

Invitation for a Earth Forum

The University of the Trees Lab Kassel invites to an earth forum on Thursday 03rd of September 2020 from 4 till 7 o'clock p.m., meeting point Dock 4 (after advance notification). The 'social' sculpture Earth Forum is a module of the University of Trees, initiated by Shelley Sacks (collaborator of Joseph Beuys and founder of the Social Sculpture Research Unit at Brooks University in Oxford). An Earth Forum lasts about 3 hours and up to 12 people can participate. Usually it takes place outdoors at different locations.

KW 36 - Kassels Week of the Museums: A Special Event in a Special Year

From September 1st to 6th, 45 cultural institutions open their doors with joint day tickets. The documenta archiv is participating from September 2nd to 6th, too.

Day of the Archives 2020

On the occasion of the nationwide "Day of Archives", the working group "Archives in North Hesse" will be present with a stand in the Kasseler Markthalle on March 7, 2020 from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm.

#12 Cultures of showing: documenta as a venue for ecological debates. Lecture by Anne-Kathrin Winkler-Hanns

Polluted water or dirty air, nuclear danger or dying forests, factory farming, climate change or the anthropocene.

#12 corpus mechanicum, corpus mysticum. Approach tactics of contemporary art archives. Lecture by Mela Dávila Freire

In the complex cultural system that we call contemporary art, archives have come to stay. Over

#11 About the dream of becoming a documenta artist. Lecture by Christian Saehrendt

The documenta archive stores thousands of unsolicited applications. While in 1972 a good 250 artists unsolicitedly and unsuccessfully applied to participate at documenta 5, there were already around 900 at documenta 7 and almost 1,500 at documenta 8.

#6 Auseinandersetzungen – Students of the University of Paderborn doing research in the documenta archiv

"We know that there are too many functions for a single chair to fulfill."

#11 Macho Man: Tell It to My Heart. A case study. Lecture by Martin Beck

The lecture presents the creation, implementation and documentation of the exhibition "Macho Man: Tell It to My Heart", poses questions about the identity of collections and analyzes their curatorial and institutional conditions using concrete examples.

#10 How much Bauhaus is in documenta? Seeking traces. Launch of the Virtual Exhibition

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, the documenta archiv and the University of Kassel have initiated a joint project that, for the first time, reflects the two institutions Bauhaus and documenta in comparison.

#10 Reenactment and Fiction - Critical Curating in the Archive. Lecture by Beatrice von Bismarck

Reenactments of exhibitions have become an increasingly dominant factor within the art world in recent years.

Never been modern? Bauhaus and documenta in true affinity

The symposium deals with the implicit narratives of modernity of Bauhaus and the documenta exhibitions.

#9 Does art education exist somewhere between aesthetic experience and social interaction? Lecture by Ruth Noack

The lecture will look back on 25 years of curatorial mediation work within contemporary art and examine its relevance in the here and now.

Guided Tour
Guided Tours to the exhibition "bauhaus | documenta. Vision and Brand"

There are regular guided tours through the exhibition "bauhaus I documenta. Vision und Marke" in the Neue Galerie, Kassel by the documenta archivs team.

"bauhaus | documenta. Vision and Brand"

Neue Galerie, Kassel

Bauhaus and documenta are two globally successful cultural brands that stand for a cosmopolitan, innovative and modern Germany.

Accompanying program to the exhibition "bauhaus | documenta. Vision and Brand"

The exhibition "bauhaus | documenta. Vision and Brand" is accompagnied by some events.

#9 Fritz Winter. documenta artist from the beginning. Lecture by Anna Rühl

The painter Fritz Winter (1905-1976) was present with a body of work at each of the first three documenta exhibitions.

#8 The Eventful Photographic History of Lehmbruck's Die Kniende. Lecture by Kathryn Floyd

Günther Becker’s familiar 1955 photograph of Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s Die Kniende (1911) in the rotunda of the Museum Fridericianum serves as an important record of documenta’s beginnings.

#8 Revising Modernity from the Archive. Lecture by Günter Herzog

The system of art has changed decisively since the second half of the 19th century. Innovations by “independent” artists are recognized and supported by newly developed “patrons,” professions, and institutions.

Guided Tour
Guided Tour to the exhibition "Please take off your shoes." - Participatory art at documenta 5

We offer you a guided tour to our exhibition "In the documenta archiv #5 - “Please take off your shoes.” - Participatory art at documenta 5".

#7 The Work of Archives – Work on the Archive – lecture by Ursula Frohne und Marianne Wagner

The archive’s connections to artistic and curatorial work are variegated and complex. While the idea of the archive, on the one hand, is informed and shaped by institutions dedicated to conservation, research, and exhibition,...

Conference: Archiving the Unarchivable – Das Unarchivierbare archivieren

In view of the future documenta Institute and on the occasion of current developments in restoration and conservation science, the documenta archiv is organizing an international conference at the documenta-Halle, Kassel, from November 22 - 24, 2018.

#6 drop. From Contemporary Archive to Archive of the Contemporary. Lecture by Knut Ebeling

The institution of the archive and the demands of the contemporary seem to stand in diametrical opposition to one another: How can the eternal past of that which is archived be connected with the fleeting present of the contemporary?

#7 Please take off your shoes! Participation and Instruction at the documenta. Lecture by Annemarie Kok

In the sixties of the 20th century, the first wave of the so-called participatory art took place. The fifth documenta in 1972, directed by Harald Szeemann (1933 - 2005), offered an important platform for this newly emerging art form.

#5 "Please take off your shoes." - Participatory art at documenta 5

“Please take off your shoes” was requested of people who wanted to have a look inside the red wooden pavilion that was created by the artists David Medalla and John Dugger in the garden of the Museum Fridericianum for documenta 5 in 1972.

Guided Tour
Guided Tour to the exhibition "documenta 1968 - a hot summer?"

We offer you a guided tour to our exhibition "In the documenta archiv #4 - documenta 1968 - a hot summer? - Documents from the preparation phase of documenta 4"

communicating documenta. A text mining project

Which guiding concepts and leading intellectual figures characterize documenta? What influence on social do have established actors in the art world and the press? Which events, artists and works of art stand out?

The Kassel Museum Night in the documenta archiv

The documenta archiv opens from 5 pm to 1 am for the Kassel Museum Night and offers a varied programme with guided tours, films and an art book antiquariat.

#6 documenta 1968 - A hot summer? Lecture by Tim Pickartz

documenta 4 (1968) was advertised as the "youngest documenta ever". In retrospect, however, it appears less visionary than expected and her artistic position weakened by democratization processes.

#4 documenta 1968 - a hot summer? - Documents from the preparation phase of documenta 4

Not only is the actual exhibition part of the representation of a documenta, but also its long preparation phase. Even before the opening, positions are taken, theories are posed and ...

Guided Tour
Guided Tour to the exhibition "artist portraits by Heinz Günter Mebusch"

We offer you a guided tour to our exhibition "In the documenta archiv #3 - Journey to the Planet Ars - artist portraits by Heinz Günter Mebusch".

#3 Journey to the Planet Ars - artist portraits by Heinz Günter Mebusch

Since the 1990s the documenta archiv owns an important collection of over 200 high-quality photographic artist portraits.

#5 Outsider Art 1972. Lecture by Thomas Röske

"Outsider Art" was represented for the first time at the 5th documenta in 1972 in the form of "artwork of the insane".

#5 From Where Do You Speak? Research in Archives, Research Based on Archives. Lecture by Bénédicte Savoy

In the France of the 1968 years, it was common for academics to ask, “D’où parles-tu?” – “From where do you speak?,” by which was meant the theoretical and methodological location of the speaker(s).

Guided Tour
Guided Tour to the exhibition "Joseph Beuys And His Initiative For Direct Democracy"

We offer you a guided tour to our exhibition "In the documenta archiv #2". The guided tour takes place on May, 14th at 4 pm. Admission is free.

#4 Archive as a virus. Lecture by Marcelo Rezende

The French philosopher Jacques Derrida wrote in “Mal d’Archive”, 1995: “There is no political power without control of the archive, if not memory. Effective democratization can always be measured by this essential criterion...”

#3 Shifts and Postponements: On Exhibition Histories and Archive. Lecture by Rike Frank

The focus of interest is an approach to exhibition history that, to some extent, breaks with museum-led conventions of “historical reconstruction".

Guided Tour
Guided tour to the documenta archiv

As part of the "Nordhessischen Woche der Archive" (North Hessian Week of Archives), we are offering guided tours to the documenta archiv.

#2 Joseph Beuys And His Initiative For Direct Democracy

At the 5th documenta in 1972, Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) set up an "Office for Direct Democracy by Referendum". Five years later, during documenta 6, he held an international forum at the Museum Fridericianum.

#4 documenta and its Double: Emy Roeder’s "Die Schwangere". Lecture by Liza Weber

In her illustrated lecture Liza Weber will test the well-worn hypothesis of the first documenta exhibition of 1955 as a rehabilitation of modern art once deemed “degenerate” under the National Socialist regime.

#2 The ruined archive. Lecture by Mark Nash

Since documenta 11 (2002) for which Mark Nash was a co-curator, much curatorial and critical discussion has focused on the relevance of a post-colonial problematic to contemporary art and curating today.

#1 Collective Memory: Archives, Affects, Encounters and Open Source. Lecture by Laurence Rassel

The concept of collective memory regarding the archive of a museum or an art center is not an obvious concept.

Short film "entýposis" at the 34th Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival

The documenta archiv has created a 7-minute short film with the title “documenta 14 entýposis” for the 34th Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival. It is a multifaceted, varied and informative collage of many moments from the documenta Summer

#3 Hans Hillmann "Fliegenpapier". A "comic-concert" with the yam yabasha ensemble, Berlin

On the occasion of the completion of the cataloguing of the personal papers by Hans Hillmann, a documenta 3 artist, the documenta archiv is pleased to announce the comic concert to his graphic novel “Fly Paper” orchestrated by yam yabasha ensemeles from Berlin at the Gloria Cinema, Kassel on November, 5th 2017, 5 pm.


#1 Theatre of the spectacle. Photographs by Bernd Schlake

The documenta archiv presents photographs by Bernd Schlake in a small cabinet exhibition at its art library. The images were taken during the 100 days of document 14 in Kassel.

documenta archiv at THE ARTS+ at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Like in the previous year, the documenta archiv takes part again at the Frankfurt Book Fair as part of THE ARTS+. The Creative Business Festival of the Book Fair is held this year under the motto Be Bold.

Time travel: documenta 1955. A virtual reality reconstruction

Kasseler Bank, Kassel

A new immediate approach to the very first document in 1955 has been created by the Art History and Theory department of the Kunsthochschule Kassel.

Arnold Bode - founder of the documenta archiv. Lecture by Birgit Jooss

In the 1980ies the documenta archiv took over the curatorial bequest of Arnold Bode (1900-1977), founder of the documenta (1955) and initiator of the documenta archiv (1961).


Joseph Beuys, the man with the hat, known for his use of felt and the Fettecke, or corner of fat—thirty years after his death he appears as a visionary ahead of his time.

Arnold Bode and the documenta

New Gallery of Art, Shanghai
A selection of objects shown in March of 2017 in Beijing are on display at the New Gallery of Art in Shanghai.

#2 How photography came to documenta. Lecture by Klaus Honnef

Half a century ago, the appointment to the directorial team of documenta was a particular honor. With documenta 5, the first of two exhibitions in which Prof. Klaus Honnef participated, this was to change:

The Myth of documenta. Arnold Bode and his Heirs

Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Beijing, Chaoyang District, South Street

The documenta archiv is the main lender for a large exhibition on the history of the documenta showing almost 600 objects in an exhibition space of 1500 square meters.

Harry Kramer. 25.1.1925 – 20.2.1997

Museum for Sepulchral Culture, Weinbergstrasse 25-27, Kassel

In cooperation with the documenta archiv, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture honors the 20th anniversary of the death of Harry Kramer with a cabinet exhibition.

Hans Hillmann – Fly Paper

Kunsttempel Kassel, Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 177

The third edition of the Festival des Grafischen Erzählens (Festival for Graphic Narration) presents for the first time original drawings and sketches by the graphic artist Hans Hillmann (1925-2014) from his classic illustration of Dashiell Hammett’s story “Fly Paper”.

#1 “documenta 1955 — the film that was never made”. A screening by Visus-Vision UG

To date, no video footage exists of the first trailblazing documenta exhibition in 1955. All the more spectacular, therefore, is the subsequent creation of a 70-minute film documentation based on original photographs from the documenta archiv

apropos documenta – Eine Annäherung des Goethe Instituts Athen an die documenta

Goethe Institute, Athens

documenta 14 will take place in Athens from April 8 to July 16, 2017. On this occasion, the Goethe Institut will invites the public of Athens to take a look at documenta with its history of over 60 years.

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