The Finding Committee of documenta 16 consists of six renowned international experts in contemporary art: Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger, Gong Yan, Ranjit Hoskoté, Simon Njami, Kathrin Rhomberg, and María Inés Rodríguez. The Supervisory Board at documenta gGmbH today appointed the Finding Committee for the exhibition, which will be held in Kassel from June 12 to September 19, 2027.
The Finding Committee has the task of inviting pioneering figures in contemporary art to apply to take on the role of Artistic Direction of documenta 16, and to select the most promising format from the concepts presented. Appointment of the Artistic Direction is targeted for late 2023 / early 2024.
"Today we are taking an important step towards documenta 16," declare Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Lord Mayor of Kassel, Christian Geselle, and Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hesse's Minister for Science and the Arts, Angela Dorn. "We have been able to enlist six eminent experts from throughout the world who, with their different artistic, curatorial and cultural-theoretical backgrounds and indeed as individuals, together stand for the modernity, internationality, and diversity of documenta. The Finding Committee now has ample time to attract the best and most innovative concepts to Kassel. It is our goal to address the shortcomings surrounding the issue of anti-Semitism at documenta fifteen. Prerequisites for the next steps, including the already agreed organizational development , are in place. At the same time, we wish to give the world's most important exhibition of contemporary art the planning time and space and security that its unique status deserves. With the Finding Committee in place, we are ideally positioned to do so."
In appointing the Committee, the Supervisory Board is following the proposal of former documenta Artistic Directors who were entrusted with this task in November 2022: Catherine David (documenta 10, 1997), Roger M. Buergel (documenta 12, 2007), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (documenta 13, 2012), and Adam Szymczyk (documenta 14, 2017).
The outgoing Managing Director of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH Ferdinand von Saint André thanks those involved: “I would particularly like to acknowledge the efforts of documenta's former Artistic Directors. They have made their expertise available to us in difficult times out of their attachment to the organization. I would also like to thank the Supervisory Board, which prioritized the establishment of the Finding Committee following this proposal. Finally, I sincerely thank the members of the Finding Committee for entrusting documenta with their expertise to lay the foundation for documenta 16."
"We sincerely thank Ferdinand von Saint André for leading documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH with great commitment during a difficult phase," said Geselle and Dorn on behalf of the Supervisory Board. "It took courage to take on this task and clarity of direction to complete it within the clearly defined interim period. Ferdinand von Saint André brought both of these things to the table. Andreas Hoffmann, who will take over as Managing Director on May 1, will find a documenta gGmbH that is well prepared for the upcoming changes."
The incoming Managing Director is delighted with the Supervisory Board's decision: "With the Finding Committee presented today, we are attracting six top-flight personalities from the world of contemporary art to documenta 16. I look forward to the process and thank Ferdinand von Saint André for setting this up during his tenure."
Members of the Finding Committee:
Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger is painter, visual artist, philosopher, psychoanalyst and a groundbreaking theorist whose Matrixial theory has impacted the contemporary fields of ethics and aesthetics, critical studies, art theory and art history, film and literary studies, and feminism for more then three decades now. Based in Tel Aviv and Paris, her artworks have been presented at major museums of contemporary art worldwide, including Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2018), Istanbul Biennial (2015), “Face à l'Histoire” (1996) and “ELLES” (2011) both at Centre Pompidou, Paris. Currently she participates in “Artists in a Time of War at Castello di Rivoli”, Turin, where she also presents a solo show in parallel. Her books include: “Régard et éspace-de-bord matrixiels” (1999), “The Matrixial Borderspace” (2006), “Proto-ética matricial” (2019), “Matrixial Subjectivity, Aesthetics, Ethics: 1990-2000” (2020).
Gong Yan graduated from Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Art, Paris, and is a professor at Shanghai Institute of Visual Art and former Chief-Editor of Art World magazine. Since 2013 she has been the director of Power Station of Art. Gong Yan lebt in Shanghai.
While still an artist at the 6. Shanghai Biennale in 2006, she moved into the curatorial field and had curated exhibitions such as “Ordinary Architecture” – The Chinese Pavilion in the 11. International Architecture Venice Biennale (2012, together with Yong-ho Chang and A Cheng), “Shinohara Kazuo” (2014), “Mobile Architecture: Yona Friedman” (2015), “Snacks” (2016), “PSA Collection Series Yu Youhan” (2017), “PSA Collection Series Li Shan” (2017), “Body Media” (2007 and 2017), “HON: Niki de Saint Phalle & Shen Yuan” (2018), “Hussein Chalayan: Archipelago” (2021/2022).
Ranjit Hoskoté is a writer, cultural theorist, art critic and curator, he lives in Mumbai. Hoskoté is the author of more than 30 books, including volumes of poetry, art criticism, cultural history, translation, and edited anthologies. His curatorial projects include the 7. Gwangju Biennale (2008), which he co-curated with Okwui Enwezor and Hyunjin Kim, and the first-ever national pavilion of India at the 54. Venice Biennale. In 2023 Hoskoté will be part of the Architecture Biennale in Venice.
Simon Njami is a Paris-based independent curator, lecturer, art critic, and novelist. Njami was co-founder and editor-in-chief of Revue Noire. He was artistic director of the first Johannesburg Art Fair (2008), the Bamako Photography Biennial, the Dak'Art Biennial (2016/2018), and the São Paulo Biennial. He was co-curator of the first African Pavilion at the 52. Venice Biennale (2007).
Njami has curated numerous exhibitions including "Africa Remix" (2004/2007), "The Divine Comedy" at MMK - Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, "SCAD" in
Savannah (both 2014) and "The Smithsonian" in Washington DC (2015), "Xenopolis" in Berlin (2015), "After Eden, The Artur Walther Collection" in Paris (2015), "Metropolis" and "I is another" (both in Rome 2018), "The Studio" as part of the Kampala Biennale 2019, "This space between us" in Las Palmas (2020) and “Materia Prima” in San Giminiano (2021).
Kathrin Rhomberg is a curator and headed the exhibition office of Secession in Vienna from 1990 to 2001 and the Kölnischer Kunstverein from 2002 to 2007. Since 2014 she has been chairwoman of the board of the Trägerverein der Kontakt Sammlung and its artistic director. She curated, among others, Roman Ondak for the Czech and Slovak Pavilion at the 53. Venice Biennale (2009), the 6. Berlin Biennale (2010), Petrit Halilaj for the Pavilion of the Republic of Kosovo at the 55. Venice Biennale (2013) and co-curated, among others, Manifesta 3, Ljubljana (2000) and "Projekt Migration", Cologne, (2002-2006). Kathrin Rhomberg lives in Vienna and teaches also there at the University of Applied Arts.
María Inés Rodríguez is a curator who lives and works in São Paulo and Paris. From 2009 to 2011 she was chief curator at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y Léon (MUSAC) in Spain. Between 2011 and 2013, Rodríguez was Chief Curator at the Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC) in Mexico City, where she directed the exhibitions, collection, and public programs. Between 2014 and 2018, Rodríguez was director of the CAPC Musée d'art contemporain in Bordeaux. Since 2018, María Inés Rodríguez has been Curator-At-Large for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP)
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