When recently Elisa and I went to Kassel, we took this opportunity only because of documenta. To be honest, otherwise I would have never considered to visit this small Western Germany town. I have to confess: as a Berliner, the rest of Germany that lies behind Potsdam always felt like the provinces I never desired to discover. Though this is certainly not true and a quite exaggerated hoity-toity view, I neglected other parts of Germany for a long time but was more than astonished as I visited a typical West Germany city like Kassel, that suffered heavy war damages and was rebuilt in main parts during the Fifties. The architecture tells a lot about this historical turning point and though many people from towns such as Kassel complain about an awful townscape, my East German heart is delighted about the obvious difference to everything Berlin, Rostock, Leipzig, Dresden and other cities offer.

Elisa and I had other intentions to visit Kassel – the art, obviously, but I’ll spare with you any remarks, pictures or even critique, since there are better places for that. However, after I was quickly bored and tired by the masses, I gained interest in other details that documenta and Kassel yielded. Whether it was the simple sight of unusual spots that the festival opened up for public, the amusement to watch the just as tired but still eager masses of international visitors or the always present, cozy small-town atmosphere that made Kassel so charming to me – the exhibition soon was only an occasion to delight in such simpler things. Elisa, who didn’t have the same metropolitan background and new cities and towns such as Kassel quite well, surely greeted my newly gained interest with silent smile. But that was all the same to me, I was thrilled to bits.

After returning to Berlin and downloading the photos from my camera, I noticed that, indeed, I didn’t pay much attention to the exhibitions. However, I think there are some nice impressions to share: Finding documenta – but I’ll spare you the art.

Finding Kassel

Posted by:Matthias

Born and raised in Berlin, Matthias' true love lies in this city. It's a deep relationship: passionate about all the charming parts and in affectionate acceptance of what lies beyond the much lauded spots. Whenever he's not strolling through Kreuzberg or Marzahn, he plunges into art, often writing about it at Castor & Pollux.

2 thoughts on “ Documenta Kassel 2012 ”

  1. Cool that you were Finding the 1950s Hessenland hotel – did you ask to see room 105? It’s the only one kept in original 1953 style. The corner staircase in the 1950s AOK building on Friedrichsplatz is also famous, perhaps less remarkable now, but sensational light architecture back then.

  2. Too bad, we didn’t know about that! We mostly went to the documenta spots and couldn’t do thorough research on hidden architecture gems. But soon, I guess, by no later than 2017!

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