documenta 14, one of the most important international exhibitions for contemporary art has elected Adam Szymczyk as its Artistic Director, replacing Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. The event is scheduled to take place from June 10th, to September 17th, 2017, in Kassel. Bernd Leifeld. CEO of documenta und Museum Fridericianum Veranstaltungs-GmbH announced that in an unanimous decision, the supervisory board of documenta followed the proposal of the international finding committee, exisiting of eight members. Adam Szymczyk is Director and Chief Curator of the Kunsthalle Basel.
documenta is an exhibition of modern and contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany. It was founded by artist, teacher and curator Arnold Bode in 1955 as part of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Horticultural Show) which took place in Kassel at that time and was an attempt to bring Germany up to speed with modern art, both banishing and repressing the cultural darkness of Nazism. The first documenta featured many artists who are generally considered to have had a significant influence on modern art (such as Picasso and Kandinsky). The more recent documenta featured art from all continents; nonetheless most of it was site-specific work.
documenta 14 has been under way for quite some time already; the Finding Commission’s meetings have been frequent and intense and it has set to work with great commitment to and respect for their task. Its eight members were selected in a unique process; they include experts from all over the world, bringing to the selection procedure their great variety of perspectives. Politics, City and State do not have a say in the appointment, placing the responsibility for this decision entirely on the Finding Commission. The first step of the procedure is to contact possible candidates, who have attracted the attention of the individual members with the excellence of their work. It is not possible for candidates to apply directly.
Following preparatory meetings, six candidates were asked to submit written concepts, which were then discussed with the members of the Finding Commission. Out of this group of six, three candidates were invited to a second round of meetings. After thorough deliberation, the members of the Finding Commission have agreed on Adam Szymczyk, who will be introduced to the Supervisory Board today.” Minister of State Eva Kühne-Hörmann stated that she expects exiting perspectives on contemporary art by the appointment of Szymczyk to remain innovative. “I am convinced that Szymczyk, a ground-breaking and idiosyncratic curator of art, will add new highlights to documenta.” The national and international significance of the documenta exhibitions cannot be overestimated.
The Lord Mayor of Kassel, Bertram Hilgen, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the organisation and Koyo Kouoh, speaker of the finding committee, presented the new Artistic Director in a press conference held at the documenta-Halle. said; “After documenta is before documenta;” Today we are very proud to be able to introduce Adam Szymczyk, the new Artistic Director, who has been selected from a group of highly qualified candidates. With great excitement we look forward to the next documenta, with high expectations past exhibition have always been able to exceed.the Lord Mayor, Bertram Hilgen stated One year after the exceptionally successful dOCUMENTA (13) the next international exhibition of contemporary art is shifting into its realisation phase, with the appointment of the Artistic Director of documenta 14. Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director of RAW MATERIAL COMPANY, Dakar, Senegal and speaker of the finding committee.said:
“Adam Szymczyk stands for a close cooperation with artists. His projects are motivated by an insatiable curiosity, interlaced by integrity and research. I am convinced, that his documenta will add another chapter to our appreciation and our experience of contemporary art.
Adam Szymczyk (born 1970 in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland) is Director and Chief Curator at Kunsthalle Basel. He was a co-founder of the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, at which he worked as Curator from 1997 till 2003, when he assumed his new post in Basel. At Kunsthalle Basel, he organized exhibitions including Piotr Uklanski: Earth, Wind and Fire (2004); Tomma Abts (2005); Gustav Metzger: In Memoriam and Lee Lozano: Win First Don’t Last Win Last Don’t Care (both 2006); Micol Assaël: Chizhevsky Lessons (2007); Danh Vo: Where the Lions Are (2009); Moyra Davey: Speaker Receiver (2010); Sung Hwan Kim: Line Wall (2011); Paul Sietsema and Adriana Lara: S.S.O.R. (both 2012), as well as group shows including Strange Comfort (Afforded by the Profession) (with Salvatore Lacagnina, 2010), How to Work/How to Work (More for) Less (both in 2011). In 2008 he co-curated with Elena Filipovic the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art under the title When Things Cast No Shadow and in 2012 he curated Olinka, or Where Movement Is Created at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. He is a Member of the Board of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. In 2011, he was recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement at the Menil Foundation in Houston.