Beyond the Frame: Masterclass with Mark Nash and Okwui Enwezor

Documenta, Kassel

The Beyond the Frame programme travelled to Kassel to tour documenta 14, after attending a talk by the exhibition’s artistic director Adam Szymczyk in Munich earlier in the year. Documental 14 spanned thirty-five venues in Kassel and included works by over 140 artists, several of which were placed outdoors in public space. The group spent three days experiencing the exhibition, and was able to visit the documenta archives as part of a masterclass with Mark Nash, who was on the curatorial team for documenta 11. Publication has always been an important part of the legacy of the documenta exhibitions and having access to the catalogues from all 14 editions enabled the group to better grasp the legacy of the contemporary iteration that they would go on to see during the trip. 

Each documenta takes its character from the ideas and concept of its artistic director, and is therefore not only a forum for current trends in contemporary art, but a place where innovative and standards-setting exhibition concepts are trialed. In 2002 Okwui Enwezor was selected as artistic director of documenta 11, which he developed as multi-site programme that rested on five ‘transdisciplinary’ platforms presented across four continents. Nash, Enwezor and artist Isaac Julien sat down with the Beyond the Frame cohort to discuss this ground-breaking model and each of it’s five platforms (Vienna/Berlin, New Delhi, St. Lucia, Lagos and Kassel). The group was able to ask about the logistics, challenges and public response to documenta 11, and the ways in which the current documenta related to and diverge from the model presented in 2002.