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by Elpida Rikou & Eleana Yalouri

Learning from documenta: A Research Project Between Art and Anthropology

documenta 14 (2017) is a remarkable moment in the history of one of the art world’s leading exhibitions because of the decision to partly relocate it to Athens, alongside its customary home in Kassel, Germany. Past documenta exhibitions have also been closely connected to other parts of the world. documenta 11 (2002), for instance, was based on five transdisciplinary discursive platforms presented on four continents (Kassel, Vienna and Berlin; New Delhi; St Lucia; Lagos) and dOCUMENTA (13) (2012) involved venues in Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt, Banff, Canada, as well as in Kabul and Bamiyan, Afghanistan. documenta 14, however, seems to be taking it a step further: the entire exhibition is focussed on the Greek capital city. Learning from documenta is a two-year independent research project that critically engages with the presence, impact and aftermath of documenta 14 in Athens, with reference to other artistic, economic and sociopolitical developments in Greece and internationally. This research project was initiated in October 2015 by Athens-based anthropologists and artists and is an occasion for methodological and theoretical innovation: anthropological ways of working are combined with artistic interventions and inform the activities of the Athens Arts Observatory, a platform for public debate on current issues of art, culture and politics.[i]

Learning from documenta Logo, 2017. Design by Io Chaviara

In the last few decades, big international (blockbuster) exhibitions have reminded us that the art world and the forces it entails transcend the limits of local or national traditions of art production and consumption and involve a circulation that cannot be described merely in terms of centre-periphery, producer-consumer or push-and-pull models. These exhibitions have become important sources of direct and indirect revenue, visibility and prestige for artists, museums and galleries worldwide. They are themselves a product of asymmetries of power in the post-colonial contemporary art market and function both as a meeting point and a melting pot of different cultural traditions in art production. At the same time, they become a context defining art discourses and practices, suggesting directions of development in art and measuring sticks for evaluating artworks and their producers. Their role in shaping contemporary art, culture and even international politics is considerable and has been discussed by art historians and theorists.[ii] It is time for a systematic study of this phenomenon from an anthropological viewpoint as well.[iii]

documenta 14 is a major cultural event with significant political and economic implications for Greece at this particularly sensitive conjuncture in the proverbial “Greek crisis”, which is conventionally located around the time of the sovereign debt crisis of 2010, and even more in “the European crisis”—a phenomenon which, in turn, is embedded in worldwide upheaval and rapid global change. Remarkably, since the economic repercussions of the Eurozone crisis began to be felt in Greece, the Greek contemporary arts scene has thrived. Numerous projects have sprung up, some of which are linked to community-based initiatives, exploring a broader connection between the arts and social reality. Moreover, the Athens Biennale, a local private art initiative operating within an international network of similar large-scale, periodic, contemporary art events, has showcased grassroots projects in the arts and in politics  during its  exhibition entitled Agora (AB4, 2013). Artists from outside Greece are demonstrating prolific activity in Athens, where “crisis” has rendered anything “made in Greece” more attractive to an international audience and where collaborative initiatives still flourish and the cost of living is low.[iv] For this and other reasons, the Athenian art scene has come under the spotlight of the curators of documenta 14. With documenta taking place partly in Athens, the hitherto “peripheral” Greek contemporary arts scene seems to be moving centre stage in the arts worldwide. Against this backdrop, The Learning from documenta project seeks to scrutinize how the arrival οf such an international institution of contemporary art will influence the local art world and art production in a country where cultural policies have predominantly focussed on the country’s ancient Greek heritage and have neglected contemporary art, which has depended mostly on private institutions and individual entrepreneurs.[v]

Learning from documenta, September 2016: Workshop “Art and Anthropology Research Kit”. Several members of the Learning from documenta team during a discussion at TWIXTlab. Photograph by George Sakkas

With its chosen title Learning from Athens (working title), documenta 14 is putting processes of knowledge and power at the heart of artistic production. Art as a process of knowledge has also been introduced into previous documenta exhibitions (documenta 11, for instance). However, documenta 14’s focus on Athens urges us to reflect on the following questions: What are the parameters and processes involved in the decision to place a city at the centre of an international exhibition’s interest and wish “to learn”? And what are the means employed to “learn from Athens”? What reactions and refusals have been provoked in response to a contemporary art institution’s desire to “learn from” a city “in crisis”? How is the significance of what is happening “in situ” to be evaluated? Through what processes and strategies of learning is or should art be related to “the public” and to “the social” and how is it creating its publics? What can an interaction between anthropological fieldwork and contemporary art offer to a methodological and theoretical approach to these questions? And finally, what are the ethics and politics of learning from, with, or even against, the other? In the following, we seek to demonstrate various aspects of our “learning from documenta” process by reflecting on the socio-economic, cultural, political and historical backgrounds of staging documenta 14 in Athens and the theoretical and methodological foundations of our anthropological research, considering the implications of the nexus of knowledge and power in documenta 14's Learning from Athens and our Learning from documenta.

Cultural, Socio-Political, Economic, and Historical Backgrounds

It is a well-rehearsed topos that the history of documenta is also connected with the post-war reconstruction and re-education of Germany as well as the post-war order in Europe and worldwide. As documenta 14’s curator Adam Szymczyk has noted, the first documenta was staged among the ruins of Kassel, including the ruins of its main museum the Fridericianum; and it was through those ruins of the past that documenta was able to explore its possible futures. If we are to adopt such a historical perspective, we cannot avoid comparing current claims to “Learn from Athens” with earlier ones made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries invoking (ancient) Athens and Greece as the cradle of European civilization and involving ancient Greek heritage as a cultural resource and aesthetic ideal for Greece, Germany, and the Western world. Since Romanticism, the aesthetics of ruins have enchanted Western European travellers. But if eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artists and intellectuals who visited Greece and the wider Mediterranean in the context of the Grand Tour wished to come closer to an idealised Greek past through the ruins of classical antiquity, recent developments have led a new wave of visitors to orientate themselves towards the future.[vi] The urban ruins of the Greek economic crisis today invite artists, students, activists, and academics to move to Athens in order “to learn” from a city that in recent years has often been treated as an experimental workshop, incubating political aspirations of resistance to dominant powers and/or neoliberalism.

The presence of documenta 14 in Athens also seems to have triggered certain allusions to the history of the relationship between Greece and Germany with its older and more recent economic, social, and cultural parameters, conjuring up a specific association with the political powers dividing Europe between South and North, also mirrored in Europe’s earlier division between East and West. Several publications have raised the issue of “(crypto)colonialism” to describe the asymmetries of power that have shaped the relationship between Greece and Western Europe and that have often led to massive economic and other kinds of dependency.[vii] “The South”, which is also the title of documenta 14’s journal, is now becoming the place where documenta 14 seeks (and finds?) the “cultural urgency” (a term by documenta founder Arnold Bode) that gave birth to the exhibition as an institution in post-war Germany and which according to Szymczyk needs to be rediscovered. But could this emphasis on “urgency” possibly lead to perceiving “the South”, and Athens in particular, as outside the canonicity and “normality” of Europe?[viii] The wish to solve or manage the European crisis usually results in identifying Greece with “the problem” without acknowledging the broader systemic roots of the crisis in the global political and economic order. The concept of “the Greek debt” becomes relevant in this context and acquires different meanings in Greece, where—in turn—the indebtedness of the Western world to the ancient Greek “world heritage” is invoked with additional reference to the WWII reparations Germany allegedly owes the country.[ix] These two aspects of “the debt” make its symbolic meaning expand beyond the current financial situation and into a more general negotiation of who owes what to whom historically. Such a negotiation does not only involve the present and the past, but also the future, with the next generation of Greeks being born into financial debt.

In contemporary negotiations of power related to the Greek “crisis”, such discourses are reignited at the multiple levels of academic analysis and everyday conversations, political statements and media commentaries.[x] When embarking on research on documenta 14, we need to take into account such international and historical parameters, which have been involved in the politics of soft diplomacy and in negotiations of power.[xi]  It is not a coincidence, for example, that during his 2016 visit to Greece, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier referred to documenta 14 as a potential “artistic bridge between Greece and Germany”, which could also form the basis for a political entente between the two countries.[xii] The mobilization of art by politics, as if the former were a field that could be conceived of as separate from the latter, and the focus on Greco-German relationships, as if documenta involved only those two countries, constitute interesting topics of discussion. Yet it should always be borne in mind that documenta 14 is not just about Greece and Germany, but involves a number of relationships well beyond those two countries.

Informed by the latest trends in social theory and intellectual debates including postcolonial studies, documenta 14 chose to identify with “the anti-colonial, anti-capitalist front of a ‘trans south’”, in order to give voice to “the other”, and to “disrupt the status quo”.[xiii] But documenta remains a big and powerful institution and the paradox of an “alternative” discourse becoming emblematic in the discourse and practices of a powerful institution that represents and produces cutting-edge contemporary art has aroused scepticism.  During our preliminary fieldwork in Athens, we often heard people accusing documenta 14 οf “colonizing”, “orientalising”, or “exoticising” Athens, an accusation that was often also levelled against the wider phenomenon of “crisis tourism” that has recently hit the Greek capital.[xiv] For example, in an interview he gave to Berlin-based artist Len Kahane, former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis made this connection while he noted that “doing documenta in Athens is like rich Americans taking a tour in a poor African country”.[xv] A stencil on a city wall near the offices of documenta 14 in Athens, which later also appeared elsewhere in the city reads: “Dear documenta: I refuse to exoticize myself to increase your cultural capital. Sincerely, oi ithageneis [the natives]”. Likewise, a small number of art projects, which develop locally and manifest themselves mainly through the social media, take a critical or rather cryptic, ironic and/or humorous stance towards documenta, often along similar lines.[xvi] Rather than pre-emptively adopting these systematic references to the “colonialization” or “exoticization” of Greece, we put them to the test and seek more pertinent concepts that may better serve as analytical tools in the specific historical and socio-political setting.

Methodological Reflections on Art and Anthropology

The development of anthropology as a discipline implicated in the historical, colonial, and imperial programmes that shaped the relationship between “The West and the Rest” has been haunted by this type of question regarding power/knowledge relations and the construction of “otherness”. As a matter of fact, under the influence of cultural critique, art was seen as a possible way out of the multiple epistemological, methodological, and political dilemmas faced by anthropologists in the post-colonial era.[xvii] Anthropology therefore has a lot to offer in helping us comprehend the cultural politics and the economic parameters governing recent developments, as well as the role art and anthropology can and do play in these developments and in the production of knowledge: the emphasis documenta 14 puts on knowledge and grassroots projects connecting arts and society certainly points in that direction. It also shows that the circumstances call for more systematic research into methodological and epistemological questions regarding the ways one can do anthropology (and art) today, and into how research questions can be opened up to public debate. On the other hand, the emphasis artists tend to put on politics nowadays along with the educational turn and other contemporary artistic trends[xviii] also offer food for thought, while artistic and research practices inspired by these trends serve to develop new perspectives in the relations between art and anthropology. In other words, contemporary art also has a lot to offer, not simply as an object of anthropological study, but also as an interlocutor and collaborator, suggesting new ways and means of doing/approaching anthropological research.[xix]

Recent theoretical and methodological developments in anthropology have also pointed to the need for finding new ways of doing anthropology in the contemporary world, which can no longer be understood in terms of a mosaic of cultures, but should rather be seen in terms of flows of people, capital, ideas, and information.[xx] Anthropologist George Marcus, for example, has suggested a specific methodological model, which shifts from a single-sited to a multi-sited ethnography as a more appropriate way to respond to the circumstances of a globalized world.[xxi] Marcus and Fred Myers[xxii] have specifically noted that art and cultural production in general cannot be studied exclusively at a local level, and they have argued for a critical cultural perspective in the anthropology of art as well as in anthropology through art. Marcus has also commented on the ways artists engage in institutional criticism[xxiii] and has promoted non-conventional ways of doing ethnography, collaboratively and potentially through art.[xxiv] Learning from documenta is a project that discusses and experiments with the close relationship between “theory” (stereotypically linked to the social sciences) and “practice” (stereotypically associated with the arts). However, it cannot and will not reproduce such binary oppositions at a time when the discursive turn in art and the engagement with the arts in anthropology are allowing us to explore the ways the one feeds into the other. Αnthropological ways of working, combined with artistic interventions and use of the media, open up a dialogue with the wider public to suggest new ways of learning.

The Present Stage of the Research

At the present stage of the research, the interest of the research group Learning from documenta focusses on the anthropological method of participant observation, which allows us to record responses to documenta’s presence at several levels from the more official to the more personal. The members of the group attend documenta 14’s events systematically, discuss with members of the art world inside and outside Greece, inside and outside documenta 14; they discuss with “the public” of documenta, as well as with those who are indifferent to or react in various ways to the presence of this major institution in Athens; they are gradually building an archive of relevant publications and other information about the history and the socio-political activities of the institution; they collect audiovisual material on which several individual art and research projects already in the making will draw. A fanzine is being published, and a number of roundtable discussions organized as part of the Athens Arts Observatory forum for public debate. These discussions also provide research material, as they allow different opinions to be voiced and to take shape in public, sometimes revealing latent controversies or unexpected alliances between various social actors.

Learning from documenta, March 9th 2017: Roundtable on the “Politics of Art Making“ at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Participants (from left to right): N.Pappa, P.Charalambous, N.G.Khan-Dossos, A.Lampropoulos and E. Rikou (coordinators), R. Lowe, A. Omrani, T.Tramboulis. Photograph by George Sakkas

Learning from documenta, March 2017: Members of the team selling the fanzine after a roundtable meeting. Photograph by George Sakkas

At the time of writing documenta’s official opening has not yet taken place. But Adam Szymczyk and many members of d14’s organizing team have already been in Athens for over two years now, in contact with representatives of different public institutions and the local art scene. The exhibition’s opening has been preceded by a series of activities: semi-public events that took place at the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), the publication of a number of issues of South magazine, documenta’s collaboration with the National Radio and Television (ERT), the launching of the educational programme, and the recent announcement of documenta’s collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), which has been unable to function properly until now due to local conflicts in the cultural domain. Most importantly, the Public Programs of documenta 14, curated by Paul B. Preciado, has been housed in a building that served as the headquarters of the military police during the years of the junta and has triggered heated discussions regarding “the proper” readings of history, the employment of such “a difficult heritage”, and the ability of “newcomers” to manage the gravitas of this historically loaded place. Such developments encourage us to address critically the way local memories and histories are translated by international artists and institutions and, by contrast, to question ethnocentric assumptions that promote locals as the only legitimate and insightful interpreters of local affairs. At the same time, they raise the question of whether something can be gained from “the loss in translation” that occurs in conversations between newcomers and old-established Athenians.[xxv]

Because documenta is an important art institution with an aura of its own, the project Learning from documenta cannot but conceive of documenta’s presence in Athens as a valuable opportunity to bring to the fore the many intellectually, politically, and even emotionally significant debates that are already in full swing about this exhibition. documenta’s presence in Athens has provoked the occasional media frenzy, usually in response to press releases by the organizers. More specifically, it has been received with enthusiasm and expectation, scepticism, or fierce criticism based on ethical, ideological, political, or personal grounds, involving feelings of inclusion or exclusion from documenta, as well as aspirations of gaining prestige, experience, and symbolic and economic capital. Purportedly “Agora”, the last Athens Biennale, provided the inspiration for Adam Szymczyk’s “Learning from Athens” project.[xxvi] But while documenta 14 is certainly occupying centre stage of the Athenian arts scene right now, the Athens Biennale is currently unfolding in the background, allegedly drained of its human and economic resources by the presence of documenta and the discontinuance of the collaboration that was initially planned between these two institutions. As this report is being compiled, the Athens Biennale announced its new programme with the title Waiting for the Barbarians, which follows a self-ironic twist on possible “self-orientalizing”. And while some are alluding to the way Manifesta 1 destroyed the local arts scene in Ljubljana,[xxvii] multiple initiatives and connections between newcomers and artists who have been living in Athens for years are being forged, and a part of the city’s arts scene is burgeoning. At the same time, local public institutions and employees acknowledge the financial support and work experience offered to them by documenta.

Despite the importance of this event, however, and the organizers’ desire to reach out and address socioeconomic inequalities, the wider public and most Athenians are still unaware of the whole business of organizing the events that are approaching.[xxviii] It is, in fact, worth noting the relative indifference with which documenta 14 has been greeted until now. Emerging critiques by local and international voices attribute this to the Greek public’s parochialism and its inability to “grasp” recent developments in art.[xxix] Unlike these critics, perhaps we should look at this indifference (or “refusal?”) as a strategic response by underrepresented local groups to the efforts of contemporary artists to create ad hoc political situations that serve their artistic aims. These reactions have been couched in the language of debt and colonial domination since the coming of documenta 14 to Athens was first announced and are heavily influenced by the experience of anti-austerity struggles in all its political forms in Greece. Strategies of refusal could thus be a notable reaction to documenta's stated aim of gaining knowledge from a country in crisis and from marginalized groups in Greece and elsewhere.[xxx]

The central position of “learning from” in documenta 14's title triggered reactions regarding the crossing gazes and asymmetries between observers and the observed. It still remains to be seen what translations and appropriations, what convergences and frictions, and, in the end, what learning and unlearning will take place along the way of these paths. The Learning from documenta team is investing time, thought, and energy in the research process. It converses with the international literature and with current art practices and aims at an in-depth critical understanding of documenta 14. It wants to keep its distance from the stereotypes and prejudices, which are collectively and pre-emptively positioning themselves for or against documenta. Its aim is to understand in a comparative fashion how art institutions work at an international level, and what issues arise as a result of moving an important contemporary art institution to a city outside the Western European “centres” of contemporary art. It is also analyzing the narratives and the critical idioms developing in response to this specific event. At the same time, it hopes to contribute to the shaping of the post-documenta cultural scene in Athens: its proposed programme is expected to serve both as a historical record, as well as a space for interaction and the cultivation of new ideas and practices.


We are grateful to Apostolos Lampropoulos and Aris Anagnostopoulos for their comments on an earlier version of this paper.

Elpida Rikou has studied sociology (Panteion University, Athens), anthropology (D.E.A., Université Paris V-Sorbonne), social psychology (D.E.A. and Ph.D, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris), and visual arts (Athens School of Fine Arts).  She has taught at different universities (Universities of Crete, Thessaly, Athens and Panteion University) since 1998. She has been teaching Anthropology of Art in the Department of Theory and History of Art of the Athens School of Fine Arts since 2007. She is the editor of Anthropology and Contemporary Art (a collection of texts of British and American anthropologists and art theorists published in Greek by Alexandria in 2013) for which she has written the introduction and of Marc Augé’s book “Pour une anthropologie des mondes contemporains” (published in Greek by Alexandria in 1999), for which she has also written the introduction and the co-editor of Fonés (a collection of works on the human voice, Athens: Nissos, 2016). She has published articles in journals, edited volumes, art catalogues, and newspapers and has coordinated several arts projects with an interdisciplinary character (i.e. Voices/Fones, Value/4th Athens Biennial, Learning from documenta, etc.) in which she has participated as both an anthropologist and a visual artist.  She is a founding member of TWIXTLab, a long term project situated "betwixt" contemporary art, anthropology and social reality (http://twixtlab.wordpress.com/) Since 2015, she has been co-coordinating the international research project Learning from documenta with Eleana Yalouri.

Eleana Yalouri (https://independent.academia.edu/EleanaYalouri) is assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Anthropological Research of the Department of Social Anthropology at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens. She has a BA in Archaeology (University of Crete, Greece), an MPhil in Museum Studies (University of Cambridge), a PhD in Social Anthropology (University College London), and has conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Princeton, USA. She has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Westminster, London, and a lecturer in the Dept. of Anthropology of University College London. Her research interests include theories of Material Culture, cultural heritage and the politics of remembering and forgetting, theories of space and the social construction of landscape, and anthropology and contemporary art, anthropology, and archaeology. Her book The Acropolis. Global Fame, Local Claim (Berg 2001) discusses the modern life of the Athenian Acropolis, and the ways in which modern Greeks deal with the national and international features of their ancient classical heritage. Her edited volume Υλικός Πολιτισμός. Η Ανθρωπολογία στη Χώρα των Πραγμάτων [Material Culture. Anthropology in Thingland] (Alexandria 2012) offers a systematic review of theories and ethnographies on key fields of Material Culture. Her current research projects involve collaborations with visual artists and art historians exploring the borders between contemporary art and fields of inquiry dealing with the Material Culture of the past or present, such as archaeology and anthropology.


[i] The project is academically supported by the Department of Anthropology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences and the Athens School of Fine Arts. It is a TWIXTlab initiative https://twixtlab.wordpress.com/. See www.learningfromdocumenta.org for more information on the members and the activities of this research project.

[ii] See, for instance, Bruce Altshuler, Biennials and Beyond. Exhibitions that Made Art History 1962-2002. (Salon to Biennials, vol. 2), Phaidon Press, London, 2013.

[iii] See, for example, Thomas Fillitz, “Worldmaking – The Cosmopolitanization of Dak’Art, the Art Biennale of Dakar” in Hans Belting et al., eds., Global Studies. Mapping Contemporary Art and Culture, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, 2011, pp. 382-401; Thomas Fillitz, “Anthropology and Discourses on Global Art,” Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale No. 23(3), 2015 , pp. 299-313.

[iv] Elpida Rikou and Io Chaviara, “Crisis as Art: Young Artits Envisage Mutating Greece,” Visual Anthropology Review No. 32 (1), May 2016, pp. 46-59.

[v] Myrsini Zorba, Πολιτική του Πολιτισμού. Ευρώπη και Ελλάδα στο Δεύτερο Μισό του 20ου αιώνα [Politcs of Culture: Europe and Greece in the Second Half of the 20th century], Patakis, Athens, 2014; Nikos Souliotis, “Cultural Economy, Sovereign Debt Crisis and the Importance of Local Contexts: The Case of Athens,” Cities Vol. 33, August 2013, pp. 61–68.

[vi] Eleana Yalouri, “Τhe Metaphysics of the Greek Crisis,” Visual Anthropology Review, Vol. 32 (1), May 2016, pp. 38-46.

[vii] Michael Herzfeld, “The Absent Presence: Discourses of Crypto-colonialism,” The South Atlantic Quarterly No 101 (4) , Spring 2002, pp. 899–926; Dimitris Tziovas, “Η Δυτική Φαντασίωση του Ελληνισμού και η Αναζήτηση για το Υπερ-εθνικό” [The Western Fantasy of Hellenism and the Quest for the Hyper-national]. In Έθνος, Κράτος, Εθνικισμός [Nation, State, Nationalism], Etaireia Spoudon Neoellinikou Politismou kai Genikis Paideias, Athens, 1995, pp. 339–361; Eleana Yalouri, “Τhe Metaphysics of the Greek Crisis,” Visual Anthropology Review, Vol. 32 (1), May 2016, pp. 38-46; Nicolas Argenti and Daniel Knight, “Sun, Wind, and the Rebirth of Extractive Economies: Renewable Energy Investment and Metanarratives of Crisis in Greece,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.), October 2015, pp. 1-22; Nicolas Argenti and Daniel Knight, “Sun, Wind, and the Rebirth of Extractive Economies: Renewable Energy Investment and Metanarratives of Crisis in Greece,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.), October 2015, pp. 1-22; Kostis Kalantzis, “‘Fak Germani’: Materialities of Nationhood and Transgression in the Greek Crisis,” Comparative Studies in Society and History Vol. 57(4), October 2015, pp. 1037-1069.

[viii] cf. Theodoros Rakopoulos, “The Crisis Seen from Below, Within, and Against: From Solidarity Economy to Food Distribution Cooperatives in Greece,” Dialectical Anthropology Vol 38 (2), 2014, p. 193.

[ix] This has been widely discussed in the Greek press.

[x] Kostis Kalantzis, “‘Fak Germani’: Materialities of Nationhood and Transgression in the Greek Crisis.”

[xi] Joseph Nye, Soft Power. The Means to Success in World Politics, Public Affairs, New York, 2004.

[xii] See http://m.griechenland.diplo.de/Vertretung/griechenland/el/03/documenta__14.html

[xiii] Despina Zefkili. 2017. “‘Exercises of Freedom’: Documenta 14.” Third Text. Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture. Accessed: 20.03.2017. http://thirdtext.org/exercises-freedom-documenta14.

[xiv] On crisis tourism, see, for example, http://www.atathens.org/tours_socialmovements1-en.html or https://insp.ngo/athens-homeless-city-tour-shedia/.

[xv] http://www.spikeartmagazine.com/en/articles/doing-documenta-athens-rich-americans-taking-tour-poor-african-country.

[xvi] See, for example, http://documena.weebly.com/ or https://idammathens.wordpress.com/.

[xvii] James Clifford and George Marcus, Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1986.

[xviii] Paul O’Neill and Mick Wilson eds., Curating and Educational Turn, Open Editions/de Appel, Amsterdam, 2010; Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship, Verso, New York, 2012; Dieter Roelstraete, The Way of the Shovel, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2013.

[xix] See, for example, Arnd Schneider and Christopher Wright, eds., Contemporary Art and Anthropology, Berg, Oxford and New York, 2006; Arnd Schneider and Christopher Wright, eds., Between Art and Anthropology. Contemporary Ethnographic Practice, Berg, Oxford and New York, 2010; Arnd Schneider and Christopher Wright, eds., Anthropology and Art Practice, Bloomsbury, London, New York, 2013; Tim Ingold, Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture, Routledge, New York, 2013.

[xx] Arjun Appadurai, “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy,” Public Culture Vol. 2, 1990, pp. 1-24.

[xxi] George E. Marcus, “Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography,” Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 24, 1995, pp. 95-117.

[xxii] George E. Marcus and Fred Myers, eds., The Traffic in Culture, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1995.

[xxiii] George E. Marcus, “The Power of the Contemporary Work in an American Art Tradition to Illuminate Its Own Power Relations,” in George E. Marcus and Fred Myers, eds., The Traffic in Culture, University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1995, pp. 201-223.

[xxiv] George E. Marcus, “The Uses of Complicity in the Changing Mise-en-Scene of Anthropological Fieldwork,” Representations No 59, Summer 1997, pp. 85-108; George E. Marcus, “Affinities. Fieldwork in Anthropology Today and the Ethnographic in Artwork.” In Arnd Schneider and Christopher Wright eds., Between Art and Anthropology. Contemporary Ethnographic Practice, Berg, Oxford, New York, 2010, pp. 83-94.

[xxv] Apostolos Lampropoulos, personal communication.

[xxvi] Cathryn Drake. 2017. “On the Ground: Athens.” Artforum. Accessed 20.03.2017 https://www.artforum.com/slant/id=66502.

[xxvii] Ref. in Despina Zefkili. 2017. “‘Exercises of Freedom’: Documenta 14.” Third Text. Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Art and Culture. Accessed: 20.03.2017. http://thirdtext.org/exercises-freedom-documenta14.

[xxviii] Andrea Kasiske. 2017. “Will Documenta Have an Impact on Athens' Art Scene?” Deutsche Welle. Accessed 18.03. 2017. http://dw.com/p/2ZCRY.

[xxix] Ibid.

[xxx] Aris Anagnostopoulos, personal communication. See also, Eva Tuck and Wayne K. Yang, “Unbecoming Claims: Pedagogies of Refusal in Qualitative Research,” Qualitative Inquiry Vol. 20(6), July 2014, pp. 811–818.

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Issue 33

the documenta issue

by Nanne Buurman & Dorothee Richter

by Vesna Madžoski

by Ayşe Güleç