d13 Tour: Ecological Aspects of dOCUMENTA

Lore Klippby Lore Klipp (guest post), , 0 Comments

Lore Klipp offers tips for a 45-minute tour related to ecology in this article. The tour starts in the Garden of the Ottoneum Museum. Our employee is a “Worldly Companion” at dOCUMENTA (13). These trained visitor guides number more than 130 and are mostly from Kassel. They will accompany visitors around dOCUMENTA, sharing their background knowledge and expertise.

Garden bed by AND AND AND

Garden bed by AND AND AND

Urban Gardens

You will first come across the gardening endeavors of AND AND AND, an artists’ initiative with an extensive global network that seeks ways to create a model for a modern, non-capitalist, community-based, and socially responsible future. The initiative organizes and hosts a variety of meetings and discussions.
The garden in front of the Ottoneum Museum is a clear expression of this group’s work. It shows how to create space-saving garden beds, which make it possible to cultivate food even in big cities.
AND AND AND closely cooperates with the Faculty of Organic Agriculture Sciences at the University of Kassel in Witzenhausen to create its “Community Gardens” project (located on Huttenplatz behind the Palais/Stadthalle Congress Center) with the support of Huttenplatz’s residents. In addition, the group is supported by the Department of Organic Agriculture on scientific issues.

Bars of gold using dried soil

Bars of gold using dried soil

Humus, the “New Gold”

We now move on to Claire Pentecost. The theme here is how art can help to provide new impulses for agriculture and the environment. Pentecost came up with the concept of “soil-erg.” Her exhibition is an appealing display of, for example, bars of “gold,” which are actually made of soil and not a precious metal. Pentecost even minted coins for the exhibition. The bills she designed are also impressive, sporting her new currency “soil-erg.” She shows how humus can be the “new gold” and establish itself as an alternative to the petrodollar, which the artist talks about in an Interview mit „Titel Thesen Temperamente“ here.

Pentecost sees how humanity is cutting the ground from under itself. Her idea is still considered “art,” yet it is definitely a very contemporary move. Or even ahead of her time.


Scenery for Sale

Now we head to the right and continue on to Amar Kanwar.

Here we see an installation entitled “The Sovereign Forest” (2012), a mix of films, books, seeds, and a video. It shows a landscape that will be subdivided in the next few months and “prepared” to be sold to industrial enterprises, eventually being eradicated.

Marc Dion's Wood Library

Marc Dion’s Wood Library

The installation is intended to help to invigorate the discussion of our understanding of politics, human rights, ecology, and crime. An ongoing research project provides the framework for this exhibit. The project examines the social impact of mining on the local community in Orissa along the eastern coast of India and ensuing environmental damage.


Books of Beuys Oaks

If you still have some time and are interested, you can:

go to the third floor (in German, 2. Stock) of the Ottoneum Museum and visit the Ottoneum’s Wood Library in its new and expanded home, which Marc Dion himself carried out.  Marc Dion made several new wood books that were created from Beuys oaks (see Joseph Beuys, 7,000 Oaks, 8th dOCUMENTA), which had been destroyed.

Wrap up the tour with a leisure walk along the Orangery

Wrap up the tour with a leisure walk along the Orangery



Another idea is to head to the Auepark and have a look at the Timebankwhere you can see yet another currency. Otherwise, you can just go to the Orangery and enjoy the setting sun.

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