Documenta 14

Wall Labels, Part 2: Because Isn’t This What Everyone Thinks When They See a 15th-Century Painting of a Saint?

Giovanni di ser Giovanni Guidi, Saint Anthony Abbot Tempted by Gold, mid-15th century.


Sorry, I’m not done with wall labels. This is an absolutely priceless (pun very much intended!) Documenta wall label, maybe even the Documenta wall label to end all Documenta wall labels. Let’s just quote the conclusion: “Similarly themed works by another Northern Italian painter, Bernardo Parentino, resonate in the ‘renditions’ presented here by David Schutter. This quartet forms the centerpiece of a room devoted to socio-economic reflection, addressing not just the entanglement of art and money, but the necessity of its ‘shunning’ on a planetary scale.”

I would unpack this, but I don’t know where to start. Why the scare quotes on “shunning”? Why say planetary instead of global? Are there different art/money issues on Mars? Maybe this is what Documenta means when they way they want visitors to question things.


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