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


In the documenta archiv #5


Thursday, November 8, 2018 - Friday, February 8, 2019


Venue: Reading room at the documenta archiv, Untere Karlsstr. 4, 34117 Kassel


Admission free

© documenta archiv / Krings

Krings: John Dugger, David Medalla, People's Participation Pavilion, 1972, Inventory Number: docA, MS, d5, 10009601

“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 (*1942) and John Dugger (*1948) in the garden of the Museum Fridericianum for documenta 5 in 1972. When entering the so-called People’s Participation Pavilion visitors would be confronted with a live snake in a pit, a machine that created bubbles, a portrait of Hồ Chí Minh, posters and banners with political texts; and various participatory artworks that could be activated and completed by them.


Through letters, drawings, photographs and other original documents from the documenta archiv, this exhibition will shed light on the Marxist-Leninist-Mao Zedong thought. It provided an important ideological basis for the construction of the pavilion, the preparatory phase and building process of the installation, the broader context of participatory art at documenta 5 and the ambitious plans of the general secretary Harald Szeemann to show this pioneering form of art.



Curator: Annemarie Kok with Martin Groh

© documenta archiv / Nicolas Wefers