// documenta Archive

The documenta has been the largest and most significant exhibition of contemporary visual art since 1955. Its activities gave rise to the foundation of the documenta Archive in Kassel, which was brought into being by Arnold Bode, the initiator of the documenta, in 1961. The archive has been entrusted with the documentation and scientific processing of international contemporary art.

In addition to the distinguished holdings of its specialized library for art of the 20th and 21st centuries, the heart of the documenta archive’s content is an extensive collection of material relating to the twelve documenta exhibitions to date. This documentation contains abundant material for the study of the fields of exhibition and art criticism since 1945, with many diverse records, such as exhibition concepts, artist correspondences, and press clippings.

An image archive and a video library complete the information resources with audio-visual media.

The organization of documentary exhibitions is as much a part of documenta archive’s activities as the organization of scientific congresses and the edition of a publication series.

The documenta Archive’s role within the “” project will be to consist in the digitalization of particularly vulnerable documenta material, including original art videos by documenta artists, artist interviews, and recordings of rare documentary television programs, in cooperation with Hessischer Rundfunk.


Project Partner: Karin Stengel (Director documenta Archive)

// Kassel Documentary Film and Videofestival

The Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival presents around 230 national and international documentaries annually, as well as experimental and artistic works. Other regular features include the media art exhibition “Monitoring,” which transfers the medium of film and video from the cinema auditorium to an exhibition context, audio-visual performances and VJ art in the “DokfestLounge,” and the interdisciplinary workshop-conference “interfiction”. Each year, the Dokfest’s position within the festival scene attracts not only regional viewers and cineasts, but also national and international professional audiences.

Since 1989, the festival has been collecting material submitted for screening as well as a selection of the films and videos presented in the programs of each of the festivals. To date, a total of 4137 works have been shown over the 26 years of the Kasseler Dokfest. The inventory of available video material amounts to around 2000 works and allows for permanent access to the films and videos from the festival’s previous programs. This archive inventory makes it possible to curate programs that represent the festival itself, individual artists, or specific topics at other events. The festival also receives numerous research requests for film series as well as for academic papers.

Within the “” project, the metadata of all of the films, videos, and installations that have been shown at the Kasseler Dokfest will first be collected and transferred to the joint databank structure. A selection of works from the available film and video material will be digitalized in order to both archive and conserve important cinematic and artistic works as well as to make this selection accessible to the public.


Project Partner: Kati Michalk, Gerhard Wissner (Directors Dokfest)