The German state of Hesse has secured funding for the creation of three professor positions dedicated to the research into the history of Documenta. The initiative is a part of the process of establishing a new documenta Institut in Kassel. The long- standing idea of expanding the existing documenta archive into an independent research institute is set for realization with the approval by the budgetary committee of the Bundestag. Supported by the Federal Government, the state of Hesse, the city of Kassel, documenta gGmbH and the University of Kassel, the institute will inspire, conduct, and further develop documenta- related research, and ultimately achieving international excellence.
The heart of the Institut is the documenta archiv and its collection of written, visual, and digital documents. It contributes to the intellectual life of the Institut and opens itself to the public with a library, internet projects, an exhibition area, and an event space.
The second pillar of the Institut is research. In addition to the documenta professorship, which considers the format of the documenta from the perspective of art history, and whose research is an important contribution to the overall concept of the Institut, three lines of inquiry stemming from the social sciences, the humanities, and the investigation into questions of aesthetics will be established. It is devoted to processes of artistic and curatorial production, the public reception of art and its dissemination in society.
Through its location, architectural appearance, and its staffing, the documenta Institut is intended as an international research and meeting space in an urban social context, which remains present for the public in the periods between the exhibitions of the documenta.
The first docuemnta professor, recruited in last year, is Nora Sternfeld, currently based in at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. The three additional positions will be advertised shortly.