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The documenta archiv to receive an important donation: The internationally unique performance art archive "Die Schwarze Lade / the Black Kit: Archive for Performance, Action and Intermedia Art" to be presented by documenta artist Boris Nieslony

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#5 Outsider Art 1972. Lecture by Thomas Röske


From the documenta archiv #5


Thursday, May 24, 2018, 6:30 pm


Venue: Gießhaus on the area of the university, Mönchebergstraße 5, 34127 Kassel


Admission free


Address of Welcome: Dr. Birgit Jooss, director of the documenta archiv



A collaboration with the documenta professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel.


© documenta archiv

Blick in die Abteilung „Bildnerei der Geisteskranken“ mit Werken von Heinrich Anton Müller, documenta 5, 1972, Diapositiv, farbig, 24 x 36 mm, Inventory Number: docA, MS, d5, 10037620

"Outsider Art" was represented for the first time at the 5th documenta in 1972 in the form of "Bildnerei der Geisteskranken" (Artwork of the Insane). On view was a replica of Adolf Wölfli's (1864-1930) hospital room containing his books as well as other works and objects from the Waldau Psychiatry Collection near Bern. Harald Szeemann (1933-2005) presented with this display a very special and "parallel pictorial world". At the same time, the works on display offered examples of "private mythologies" and an "identity of depiction and the pictured".


Thomas Röske's lecture is about questioning the intentions of the exhibition organizer, whose concern with "Outsider Art" permeated his entire professional life. The significance of documenta 5 for the perception of this art will also be considered receiving steadily growing attention in the art world. It is no coincidence that the in 1972 published book "Outsider Art" by the English writer Roger Cardinal (born in 1940) set the terminology for this kind of art.  


PD Dr. Thomas Röske (born 1962) is head of the Prinzhorn Collection at the Psychiatric University Hospital in Heidelberg since 2002 and is considered one of the most important specialists on "Outsider Art" worldwide. Since 2012 he has been president of the "European Outsider Art Association (EOA)". In 2015, the "Deutschsprachige Gesellschaft für Kunst & Psychopathologie des Ausdrucks e. V. (DGPA)" awarded him the "Hans-Prinzhorn-Medaille" for his research and exhibition projects on the subject of art and psychiatry.