Fotos: Wolfgang Jung

Knowledge Gathering - Gathering Knowledge

A cooperation held during documenta 14 between the Kunsthochschule Kassel (School of Art and Design Kassel), the Bern University of the Arts, and the Aalto University in Helsinki, September 11-15, 2018.

documenta 14 put a strong emphasis on the diversity of knowledge and forms of knowledge presented. Both the exhibition’s public and its education department were confronted with a vast plurality of themes, references, discourses, and stories that, rather than being structured and collected, should instead be allowed to expand their influence beyond the exhibition’s borders and into its host cities of Athens and Kassel. There was even talk of a fluid transition between exhibition and non-exhibition.

Against this background, a week of “knowledge gathering”* took place during the final week of documenta with the aim of promoting the meeting, exchange, and joint development of ideas. Students of the Kunsthochschule Kassel, along with students of the MA in Art Education at the HKB Bern and the major program in Curating, Managing and Mediating Art (CuMMA) at the Aalto University in Helsinki, utilized the KMMN project space in the Kulturbahnhof/Hauptbahnhof in Kassel for a weeklong exploration of the following questions:

Which themes, references, discourses, and stories resonated with the group, and how? What does “curating” mean under post-representative conditions? How can definitions be made while also upholding a diversity of voices? What is important to us? How can ignorance be dealt with productively? How can the mediation of documenta 14 be made productive? Are the educators able to articulate their desires given the absence of any canon? How do they orientate themselves and choose their tools? Can everybody say what they like? How can this maximum possible production of knowledge and ignorance be documented? Which consequences will this have for future exhibitions and the discourse around art mediation?

The concept of “knowledge gathering” originates from documenta 14’s “aneducation” program, which “develops an artist-led, process-based approach through research, personal exchange, listening, conversing, walking, reading, and looking – gathering knowledge but also dispersing it like a breathing organism.” This exchange was conducted on many levels and across various formats, including shared discussions, talks with invited (temporary) local actors, an exhibition, and an evening event. The aim was the bringing and coming together of experiences (knowledge gathering) and the mutual development of questions – and possible approaches toward answering them (gathering knowledge).

Organized by Nora Sternfeld (Professor for Curating and Mediating Art at the Aalto University in Helsinki (2012-2018) and documenta Professor at the Kunsthochschule Kassel), Gila Kolb (lecturer at the HKB Bern’s MA program in Art Education and member of documenta 14’s “faculty” group for aneducation), and Marko Karo (lecturer at the Aalto University in Helsinki).