Ever since the organizers of Documenta 14 announced that the quinquennial would be held in 2017 in both Kassel, Germany (its typical home base), and Athens, the big question has been: how will you schedule out your travels to see both? Personally, I have been looking forward to a 24-hour car ride through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, and Macedonia, but today the exhibition’s organizers revealed that they are lining up some special travel options, announcing, and I quote from the press release, that they have “forged several alliances with travel experts from the tourism industry, both in Germany and Greece.”
The big news is that the exhibition has partnered with Aegean Airlines, which will be the official airline of Documenta (the first official airline in Documenta’s 60-year history, they note), to provide direct flights between the two cities, beginning in April of next year. (The Athens section opens to the public April 8, the Kassel section June 10.) There will be two flights per week between the cities.
The official release dresses up this program with a very fine curatorial statement:
By asking documenta’s visitors to take a similar route as its makers, the exhibitions on view in each city also invite them to take their time, allowing a break in visibility while journeying between the two locations. The exhibition thus becomes an agent of change and a transformative experience for its audience and participants in both places, and beyond.
But in all seriousness, this sounds like a very helpful and sensible initiative, particularly since Documenta’s previous forays beyond Kassel have been rather difficult to visit.
For the previous edition of Documenta, in 2012, Documenta 13—or dOCUMENTA (13), as it was styled—staged a show in Kabul, Afghanistan, a place very few art types were willing or able to visit. (That was part of the point, its director, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, has said.) And Documenta 12 set up a pavilion at the storied elBulli restaurant in Roses, Spain, though only two Documenta visitors, chosen at random, were invited to partake of a meal there each day during the show’s 100-day run.
More details about the flights will be released this summer, but if you are still considering a car trip, click this link to head over to Google Maps to explore your options. You can also easily head through the Czech Republic on your way to or from the shows, or even opt for a more southerly route, visiting Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina along the way.