Neue Neue Galerie (Neue Hauptpost)

Neue Neue Galerie (Neue Hauptpost), photo: Mathias Völzke

The brutalist Neue Hauptpost, renamed the Neue Neue Galerie by documenta 14, was inaugurated in 1975 as Kassel’s main post office and mail distribution center. In the wake of the partial privatization and digitization of mail services, it has been largely left vacant. The building appears as a site of post-Fordist labor, one that directly marks the impact of virtualization on the service sector of economic production, its empty spaces serving as a testament to the final stages of a bygone economy. Today, its architectural body is home to a combination of public services, such as the City Department of Roads and Transportation and Hephata Diakonie (an evangelical organization committed to youth support and social rehabilitation), as well as private entities—the gym chain McFit, located directly on top of documenta 14’s main exhibition.

Echoing and reconfiguring the old post office as a nexus of distribution, the artists featured here work with the axes between Kassel and Athens as lines of departure and arrival. The art on view explores the labor of dissemination—by mail, on horseback, through bodies or rituals. The concept of redistribution broadens to encompass larger questions about the production of history, of how certain political conditions form a canon that in turn produces certain types of artistic labor. Many of the artworks featured in the main hall, on the mezzanine, and on the top floor (which once served as an employee canteen and rest area) generate critical ideas about intersections in history, articulating the site as a continuously evolving and dissolving heterotopia.

Posted in Public Exhibition


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