Documenta 4 in film
"Documenta 4" by Jef Cornelis is the first title of the new "Archives" collection, which is dedicated to landmark exhibitions and curatorial practices, and which provides reference material and moving images to a growing field of research, that of curatorial studies and exhibition history.
Held in Kassel between June and October 1968, "Documenta 4"—the last to be directed by Documenta founder Arnold Bode—was plagued by controversy and debate: artistic and political and generational and aesthetic conflicts, as well as tensions between European and American art were some of the issues that affected this edition, echoing the social and political upheavals that were taking place elsewhere at the same time. The film reflects this effervescence, giving voice to the artists, curators, and audience, but also offers a unique approach to an exhibition in progress. We can watch Sol LeWitt's constructing "Three Part Variation," Joseph Beuys installing his "Raumplastik," Martial Raysse talking about the place of the artist at Kassel, Harald Szeemann defending the concept of the museum, Edward Kienholz explaining his work from inside his "Roxy" installation, and so on.
Jef Cornelis has mainly worked for VRT, Belgian national television in Flemish. He has realized more than 200 films, especially on architecture, literature, and the arts.
Yves Aupetitallot is an art historian, curator, art critic, and director of Le Magasin–Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble. His essay offers essential reference points that elucidate the context and debates of this pivotal exhibition