Dienstag, 07. Mai 2019, 18:30 - 19:30 iCal

History as Curatorial Practice:

Narratives of Greek-German Entanglement at documenta 14

Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik der Universität Wien
Postgasse 7/1/3, 1010 Wien


While retaining its character as a mega-event of contemporary art with a distinct international outlook, the last documenta exhibition, staged in Athens and Kassel in 2017, also represents an intricate episode of Greek-German cultural entanglement. Operating in a decidedly self-reflexive mode, the exhibition proposed a historical genealogy of the very entanglements of which it was itself part. At the “Neue Gallery” in Kassel, the shared history of Germany and Greece, seen from an offbeat Athens-Kassel perspective, was enmeshed within a broader narrative web, which explored the intersecting histories: of the Greek revival, European colonialism and the National Socialist policies of dispossession. In the lecture, I offer a reading of this multi-layered curatorial structure and reflect in particular on its historiographical stakes and tropes. Spanned by contradictory forces, disjuncture and overlapping temporalities, this narrative matrix was built upon a logic of (dis)association and affective contamination across the exhibits, rather than upon linear modes —be they temporal or causal. My intention is to critically assess the heuristic and affective potential of such curatorial treatment of history, deployed spatially, involving assemblages of material objects and text fragments and demanding embodied spectatorship.


Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik, Österreichische Gesellschaft für Neugriechische Studien, Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät


Petra Greger
Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik
Historisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
4277 41001