Paths, routes, and parcours cross and intertwine, as visitors consider the pathways taken by peripatetic thinkers as a point of departure for a reflection on the act of walking. Joining a member of the documenta 14 Chorus, visitors can create their own lines of inquiry, questioning and entering into dialogue as they unravel and unfold documenta 14 together.

Historically, the chorus of Greek tragic theater was made up of nonprofessionals and citizens who served as commentators, shape-shifters, and empathizers between the audience and the actors. The Chorus for documenta 14, meanwhile, enacts a multiplicity of roles with visitors to the exhibition, drawing out broader perspectives related to the sociopolitical and geographical contexts of the documenta 14 project. Visitors thus become contributors to the life of documenta 14—negotiating routes and responses to artworks alongside one another. The documenta 14 Chorus creates a chorality that continues to resonate with mythologies, stories, debates, and rumors beyond the realm of the exhibition.

Walks in Athens

Walk: EMST, National Museum Of Contemporary Art

The architects of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST), Takis Zenetos and Margaritis Apostolidis, developed a flexible design capable of adapting to future uses and different circumstances. The building’s original function as a brewery for “Fix” beer with its now silenced machines, is replaced by the documenta 14 Chorus, a multitude of voices and bodies drawn together for listening and dialogue, while experiencing the works of documenta 14. The Chorus of documenta 14 open up lines of inquiry and weaves connecting threads between the large number of artists exhibited.

Walk: Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA)—Pireos Street

The exhibition hall of the Athens School of Fine Art provides a fitting setting for exploring notions of experimental education and pedagogy, such as the “open form” or “open city.” Encompassing the garden as a space for learning, the walks with the Chorus take on a reflective nature. Among the garden’s student-made sculptures, rose bushes, pomegranate, and fig trees is a walnut tree called the Otto Tree, named after the King of Greece who brought it from Bavaria.

Walk: Athens Conservatoire (Odeion Athinon)

The walks explore the relationship between score, voice, sound, and performance as found in the practices of documenta 14 artists. The walks focus on contemporary artists who are interested in the intersection of movement, rhythm, music, and performance. They employ scores and musical instruments that are deeply engaged with everyday life and social reality. How do we read scores collectively and interact in the face of displacement and unrelenting instability? How can the human voice express an object’s ancestry and its sound vibrations?

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Walks in Kassel

Walk: Fridericianum

The Fridericianum displays stylistic elements from Rococo but was primarily built in the spirit of Enlightenment and Neoclassicism. The Fridericianum has had many past lives and functions. It was designed as a public museum—the first in the world—to make art and knowledge accessible to the wider population. It also served as a parliamentary building, a library, and today houses a Kunsthalle, as well as being one of the central venues of all documenta exhibitions since 1955. The Chorus invites visitors of documenta 14 to think about the role of a museum today and what a collection conveys about a museum.

Walk: From Friedrichsplatz to documenta Halle

Friedrichsplatz was named after Landgrave Friedrich II of Hessen-Kassel and is one of the largest inner-city squares in Germany. The Parthenon of Books, an artistic project by Marta Minujín, creates the setting for Learning from Athens (working title). For the project, the artist is constructing a replica of the famous temple on the Acropolis in Athens on Friedrichsplatz, composed of as many as 100.000 books. Friedrichsplatz was also the site where on May 19, 1933, Nazis burned approximately 2.000 books during the so-called “Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist” (Campaign against the Un-German Spirit). documenta Halle was inaugurated on occasion of documenta 9 in 1992. It traces the downward sloping line of the hill at the northern edge of Auepark. Following this line through the building, the Chorus focuses on movements of the body, walking, rhythm, and scores.

Walk: From Neue Galerie to Schöne Aussicht

The original building housing the Gemäldegalerie (a museum of Old Masters) was constructed between 1871–77 by the architect Heinrich von Dehn-Rotfelser. During documenta 14, Neue Galerie will accommodate some of the historical research happening in the context of the exhibition: In 2012, the controversial Gurlitt estate consisting of around 1.500 artworks and objects was confiscated by German authorities in the apartment of Cornelius Gurlitt in Munich. The art collector had inherited the works from his father, Hildebrand Gurlitt (1895-1956), who had been one of four officially designated art dealers in Nazi Germany. He had been tasked with buying and selling art for the profit of the Nazi Reich, much of which was looted from Jewish owners. The walk creates an open space to discuss the research conducted by documenta 14 and raises questions around restitution and provenance research.

Walk: From Alte Neue Hauptpost to Gottschalkhalle

The Neue Hauptpost was built to house Kassel’s main post office, previously located on Friedrich-Ebert-Straße. It opened on February 20, 1975, and is situated between the center of Kassel and the Nordstadt. The Gottschalkhalle, previously the home plant of the locomotive factory Henschel and the tent and cloth factory Gottschalk & Co., is today a listed building commemorating technology and industry on the campus of the Universität Kassel. Various modes of address, circulation, forms of narration, inhabiting a fiction, and dispersion are some of the possible topics for discussion as we move between the Neue Hauptpost and the Gottschalkhalle.

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