In 1955, in Kassel, Germany, the first series of exhibitions under the title documenta was opened, and by today, this event is known as the leading forum of contemporary art in the world, taking place in every five years. In the years 1955-2007, twelve documentas have been organised and all of themhave earned a place in the history of art as the exhibitions that have influenced the development of contemporary Western art to the greatest extent. Soviet Estonia was naturally left aside from this central international forum of avant-garde art, and nowhere in the vast territory of the Soviet Union can we find information on the documentas having taken place.
Estonia’s cooperation with documenta has only just begun. We took part in a satellite project called „documenta 12 Magazines”, which offered a selection of conteporary art magazines, including kunst.ee, in the framework of documenta 12 events.
Within the exhibition series Archives in Translation, Kumu generates a virtual archive introducing the activities of documenta and the participating artists. The volume of documenta discourse forces us to make choices. Virtual documenta in Kumu is based on the overviews dealing with the issues of modern art. Our archive would be the starting point for events introducing avant-garde art, and the exhibition pays particular attantion to documenta 5, which has become a legend that influences contemporary art to this day.
The exhibition includes the following videos:
Vito Acconci - Remote Control, 1971
Vito Acconci - Pryings, 1971
Hans Haacke: An Interview, 1980
Chuck Close: An Interview, 1980
Bruce Naumann - Violin Tuned D.E.A.D, 1968
John Baldessari – Baldessari Sings Lewitt, 1971
Stefan Römer - Conceptual Paradise