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Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev Reflects on dOCUMENTA (13)

Artistic director discusses exhibition’s multiple sites with panel of artists and critics

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November 7, 2013 | by Judy Moore

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Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the internationally renowned artistic director of dOCUMENTA (13) and the Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northwestern University, will join artists, critics and thinkers in conversation about the international art exhibition on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at Northwestern. The program is a collaboration between the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and the department of art theory and practice.

The discussion, “The Locational Turn: Reflections from Chicago on documenta in Kassel, Alexandria, Banff and Kabul” takes place at 5:15 p.m. at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus.

documenta, an exhibition of modern and contemporary art held every five years in Kassel, Germany, came about in 1955 as an attempt to recuperate from the shadow of Nazism and the destruction of WWII through the arts. Since then, it has become the most attended recurring international art exhibition worldwide.

As the curator and artistic director of dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012, Christov-Bakargiev revolutionized the exhibition by locating the project concurrently in three additional sites around the world -- Alexandria, Egypt; Kabul, Afghanistan and Banff, Canada -- places not renowned for international art, but zones of conflict and sociopolitical transformation or idyllic retreat from the centers of global events.

Joining Christov-Bakargiev will be artist Kristina Buch; Brian Holmes, professor of philosophy at the European Graduate School in Switzerland; Claire Pentecost, artist and professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Michael Rakowitz, artist and professor of art theory and practice at Northwestern; Dieter Roelstraete, Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Lori Waxman, instructor in art history, theory and criticism and new arts journalism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Titus Wonsey, Huguenot House Builder in Training for artist Theaster Gates.

The program will be moderated by Susy Bielak, the Block Museum’s new associate director of engagement and curator of public practice.

Christov-Bakargiev is teaching in Northwestern’s department of art theory and practice for three consecutive fall quarters beginning in 2013. The Nov. 13 program is the first of a series of joint presentations between the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the Block Museum held in conjunction with her appointment.

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