‘documentary. Politics and Art ‘, opens June 18, 2021 at the Deutsches Historisches Museum

Documenta’s ascent to become Germany’s most successful art exhibition was due in part to its political dimension, in particular the need to draw a line under National Socialism, followed by the formation of the blocs of East and West during the Cold War. Although the exhibition claims to distance itself from Nazi cultural policy, it does not openly engage with the National Socialist past. At the same time, his political orientation towards the West led him to reject the socialist concept of art in the Eastern Bloc.

documenta. Politics and art

With ‘documenta. Politics and Art ‘(June 18, 2021 – January 9, 2022), the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum) presents the first exhibition devoted to documenta as a means of investigating the multi-level interaction of politics and art in German society after 1945.

Teacher. Dr. Raphael Gross, President of the Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum: “Documenta has always been more than a prestigious art exhibition. With him, modernism – after being vilified until 1945 – rose to become the favorite style of the young Federal Republic. The first documenta makers embraced modern art as a way to break with the Nazi past. But there were also continuities. For example, historian Carlo Gentile revealed that Werner Haftmann, one of the key figures in the first documenta exhibitions, was involved in war crimes in the summer of 1944. It is no coincidence that the works murdered Jewish artists had no place in the image of modernism as Haftmann chose to stage it. With our exhibition, we systematically retrace, for the first time, how politics came about with art in documenta. By pursuing this objective, I hope that we will open up a new perspective on the history of the Federal Republic.

The image is available on AP Images: http://www.apimages.com

Long version press release: https://www.dhm.de/en/press/press-release/how-the-federal-republic-of-germany-shaped-its-image-anew-at-documenta/

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