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IN | OUT — Canonization Processes of Modern Art and the First documenta

Thursday, Nov 30, 2023, 6.30 pm

What do we actually mean when we talk about the canon in modern art? Why are certain artistic positions considered a matter of course while other works fall out of view? The documenta exhibitions have actively contributed to the canonization process, promoted careers in the exhibition industry, influenced the acquisition policies of public collections, but also contributed to the marginalization of individual biographies or artistic groups.

The conference “IN | OUT” is dedicated to the complex mechanisms of selection in the context of the first documenta (1955). Curatorial decision-​making processes, art-​theoretical decisions, individual assessments of quality and personal networks, as well as economic interests and constraints will be discussed. At the same time, it is important to question the methodological and social relevance of the concept of canon.

Kick-off event, November 30, 2023, 7 pm
Welcome: Prof. Dr. Andreas Hoffmann (documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH)
Keynote: Prof. Dr. Christian Fuhrmeister (Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, Munich)
“Who needs when why which image of ‘modern art’?”
Followed by a panel with Prof. Dr. Christian Fuhrmeister, Dr. Reinhard Spieler (Sprengel Museum Hannover) and Prof. Dr. Annette Tietenberg (HBK Braunschweig)
Moderation: Dr. Birgitta Coers (documenta archiv, Kassel)


The conference of the documenta archiv takes place from November 30 to December 3, 2023 at the Fridericianum.

Registration is not required.
Further information and the conference program can be found on the documenta archiv website.