Last Saturday, in the wonderful and sunny terrace of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, I had the honour to attend a conversation between Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (artistic director of Documenta 13) and Luca Massimo Barbero, curator of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Documenta is one of the most important contemporary art exhibitions in Europe, and this year tooks place in Kassel from the 9 of June to the 16 of September.
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is a woman with an impressive and broad knowledge, during the speech she passed from the history of Documenta to her curatorial approach, from her trips around the world to meet artists for Documenta, to the philosophical and scientifical interactions in the arts. But what I really appreciate is that her knowledge has never been displayed to be pleased with herself, but just to make her thoughts more clear, to make you understand her approach. Despite her importance she seemed to me very direct and clear, also by her way to interact with audience.
I also appreciate a lot her curatorial approach. In her opinion curators have to be more like “traffic controllers”, “coreographers” then “stars” that interact actively in the artistic creation of meanings. She also explained that she hasn’t got a concept for Documenta 13, nothing to prove. She just wanted to investigate artistic movements considering four points of view: What artists do when they are on a stage, when they create and performe. What artists do when they are in a state of siege. What they do when they are in a state of hope and in a state of withdrawal. She considers art as a creative process in the society and I think that all her considerations are very clever and direct.
As a young arts management student, I can say that meeting a person like Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, makes you think about what effort is necessary to create something of value. We still have a lot of work to do, read a lot, study and visit different cultures and realities.
by Laura Casarsa