dOCUMENTA 13: „Collapse and Recovery of Collapse“
Francisco José Avestruz
Ten years after the surrender of the Nazis and the digestion of the German people about the insane adventure of the National Socialism, the first documenta in Kassel in 1955 came into the world. In the same year Kassel welcomed the former armed forces member (1939-1945) and First Lieutenant (1944-1945) in the Nazi Germany of Adolf Hitler, FJ Strauss (CSU party member – Christian Social Union). He arrived in order to accelerate the reconstruction of the defense industry in Kassel in the postwar period (the barely 10 years since asleep the surrender of the Nazis) – as a former party chairman of the CSU, atomic Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (1955), who later became defense minister, Prime Minister of Bavaria and candidate for Chancellor of Germany. Then the Bundeswehr (German Military) was re-established on the 5 May 1955. Since the fifties, Strauss was a key lobbyist regarding NATO and open advocate of the McCarthy era. He has also advanced the witch-hunt of dissidents (1) in occupied Germany. His efforts in cooperation with the cultural and economic institutions were for the awakening of the dormant war production as early as the second half of the fifties, a success. There we have the two Henschel successor companies (2) (6 generations and Nazi regimes with more than 6000 forced laborers), also Wegmann (3), Rheinmetall (4) and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (5), who in the 50’s re-entered with a bang into the weapons business.
1955 was the season of awakening for Kassel after the end of World War II in a decade of despair, hunger, guilt, and resistance to rebuilding the machinery of war, persecution of pacifists of the left and religious (6) spectrum – which called the soldiers killers, denunciations, reinstatement of former Nazis (7) in national security and politics go hand in hand with the occupying forces. These turbulent times, the platform for the development of the first Documenta were to simultaneously, so to calm the turmoil. Reconstruction, restoration, creation…
Again, again and again, that’s part of the motto, which has Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev dedicated their Documenta 13 “collapse and reconstruction.” Breakdowns and disasters from natural processes (meteorites, earthquakes, tsunamis …) with their self-regeneration / healing of nature are placed in parallel with human-made disasters (pogroms, wars, displacement, exploitation, enslavement …) each with their reconstruction / self-healing are presented with a holistic relation to the same level along the different venues documenta for a clientele of more than 750,000 “refined”, privileged visitors. The message of her diffused concept Non-concept and its presentation is read by a mass mainstream audience. As a natural process, as were war and neo-colonialism to a natural behavior of our existence as a group disasters of war with exploitation, delusion, torture, expulsion, racism and all the symptoms of diseases such as hatred and violence would then be natural processes that should happen in our existence. As with any environmental disaster and colonial processes and exploitative behavior would mean unavoidable and natural processes (the process functions like a sedative).
There are of course committed artists in the documenta, dealing consciously and skillfully with the present, but the individual critical discourses are neutralized in the context of a pompous massive art event. The review and discussion of various projects within an extremely silently evaporated eurocentrist context where the standardized clientele is told that natural and human disasters belong together and are unavoidable. Under this principle the crime in the colonies and neo-colonies would be a normal part of the natural process in the world, and in the past and today, on behalf of the privileges of the West based on a flag, efficient war machine, armor, public / private agents, investors, neo-missionaries are directed. While the privileged-estranged visitors are satisfied with the presence of one Zooccupy at the entrance to Fridericianum palace, 10 minutes away the terror of war production is continuously performed in arms factories. And other startle determined by the current character of the new transformation processes in the questioning of our behavior in society, they meet at the same time with their fantasies and ideas about art and a representation of the world, “which is not right, but it could be even worse.”
Documenta covered up its own existence of an instrument for neocolonial processes with small isolated doses of criticism and indistinct denunciation. “The” international art event would not be taken seriously, in case there was no criticism of it present (at least when done “as if”). This review is from Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev whether consciously or unconsciously blinded and co-opted by the ruling class. This acts as a placebo for the social disease of an unconscious society.
The homogenizing machinery of documentation with their so-called (by the Artistic Director of d13 – Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev) “Artistic Agents”, an instrument of expansion, Occidentilazation and delusion for the 100 days running game show with a budget from private investors and the state funds of 24 million euros (8) equipped. The behavior of the Documenta apparatus appeals not only to the behavior of colonial processes, but also the behavior of the market. This more holistic relationship whereupon Christov-Bakargiev refers would diffuse a homogeneous behavior of the elements of neo-colonialism, which fluidly cooperate with each other for status. Result of the whole liquid coexistence of cultural-religious institutions, politics, market economy and arms industry is more than the sum of its parts, more than the nation-state, there are also neo-co-colonies and strategic occidental business partners crisis areas.
The satellite documenta in Kabul (the pearl of the whole show) now takes up the homogenizing role of missionary foundations as in the earlier colonizing processes of the Americas with the specific civilization policy (9) (here I refer to Americas as today’s continent with 35 countries and 3 sub-continents). Present documenta’s satellite, as a neo-missionary in the “post-war” territory of Afghanistan, cannot be distinguished from earlier missionaries, who were commissioned by the colonial governments during and after the end of terror, bloody expulsion and exploitation of these territories and their inhabitants. This happened in let us cancel times designate as “former post war times” to “in the name of God” and the Occident’s behavior, customs, language and beliefs of the colonial rulers to enforce, thus the cultural consciousness of the exploited, oppressed, demoralized and almost extinguished people . So then the possible future resistance of the oppressed group was broken by a powerful modeling of peoples, who were transformed into a second-class society, for easy slavery and other exploitation of the “Indians” by the new European settlers, which stood out with its war machine.
So the Documenta seeks to be the window of a global representation of art, it presents itself as the global dominant on art, the Bible of culture. Here is what should be a discourse and as the carrier of cultural or artistic processes that ought to be addressed by enforcement. It intervenes in the capital of Afghanistan as the “savior of the Afghan culture,” as a virtual bridge between the “ideal” of the ’70s bohemian European Junkie quarter in Kabul, with the one-hotel by the Italian artist Alighiero Boetti (an essential key for these games), and the Kabul today as a re-start point, now continueimg under the baton of the U.S. – Italian Christov-Bakargiev. The period between the present and the fate of Afghanistan terrorized by decades of utilization, exploitation, oppression, terror via West remains, first quietly, like a dark picture. A nationalist / Eurocentric discourse of Mrs. Christoph-Bakargiev is not easy to conceal. The way for further “reconstruction” of Afghanistan will be freely maintained.
http://www.archivioalighieroboetti.it [Kabul, 1971]
(1) Die Wiederbewaffnungsdiskussion wurde von 1949 bis 1956 geführt und beschäftigte sich mit dem kontroversen Thema der Wiederaufrüstung und Atomare Massenvernichtungswaffen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Kurz nach Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges wurde diese wegen der noch anhaltenden Kriegsmüdigkeit und der erstarkenden Friedensbewegung heftig diskutiert.
(6) 1950 Kirchenpräsident Niemöller kritisiert wiederholt den politischen Kurs der Bundesregierung zu den Themen Westorientierung und Wiederbewaffnung und Atomare Massenvernichtungswaffen. Damit löst er jeweils intensive Debatten aus. Im Oktober 1950 wenden sich Niemöller und die Bruderschaften gegen das Angebot von Bundeskanzler Konrad Adenauer, Westdeutschland wieder zu bewaffnen.
Kasseler Kirchenpräsident Martin Niemöller gehört zu den entschiedenen Kritikern, nachdem ihm 1954 führende Atomforscher (Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg und Carl Friedrich von Weizäcker) erläutert hatten, dass Atombomben alles Leben auslöschen können. In Bezug darauf betont Niemöller am 25. Januar 1959 auf einer christlichen Friedenversammlung in Kassel bei der „Kasseler Rede“ die Verantwortung der Soldaten im Kriegsfall. Dabei kritisiert er die Ausbildung von Kommandotrupps zum gezielten Töten von Gegnern als “Ausbildung zum Verbrechen und für das christliche Gewissen unvereinbar”. Er wird in Zeitungen “Soldatenausbildung als hohe Schule für Berufsverbrecher” zitiert. Ein auch innerkirchlicher Sturm der Entrüstung beginnt. Verteidigungsminister Franz Josef Strauß stellt Strafanzeige, Präses Wilhelmi, der zu diesem Zeitpunkt für die CDU im Bundestag sitzt, und Niemöller ringen vor der Synode um das Thema.
(7) Hans Filbinger CDU, Karl Carstens CDU, Kurt Georg Kiesinger CDU, Hans Globke CDU, Karl Maria Hettlage Industrieller, Adolf Heusinger General, Hans Speidel General, Waldemar Kraft CDU, Theodor Oberländer CDU, Karl Schiller SPD, Frank Seiboth, Frank Seiboth SPD, Hubert Schrübbers BfV…
(8) Der Etat der im Juni beginnenden documenta beträgt 24,6 Millionen Euro. Der Bund schießt über die Kulturstiftung 3,5 Millionen zu, das Land Hessen und die Stadt Kassel geben jeweils 4,4 Millionen Euro. Die anderen 12 Millionen kamen aus privaten Investoren.
(9) „Civilisation Policies“