Artistic Director: Okwui Enwezor
Dates: 8 June – 15 September 2002
Venues: Museum Fridericianum, documenta-Halle, Kulturbahnhof / Balikino, Binding-Brauerei, Orangerie, Karlsaue, Kasseler Innenstadt / Nordstadt

Documenta11 in 2002 was led by the first non-European art director – Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor – who created what is remembered as a foundational global and postcolonial edition of this seminal event in Kassel, Germany. This iteration of documenta rested on five platforms that aimed to “describe the present location of culture and its interfaces with other complex, global knowledge systems,” Enwezor explained, with documeta 11 being the 5th and final in this series of platforms. Prior to the expansive exhibition in Kassel, Enwezor and his curatorial team – composed of Carlos Basualdo, Ute Meta Bauer, Susanne Ghez, Sarat Maharaj, Mark Nash, and Octavio Zaya – presented a series of four initial transdisciplinary platforms. Each was an exhibition devoted to different themes and presented on four continents a year in advance of the official opening. These included: “Democracy Unrealized” (Vienna, March 15–April 20, 2001; Berlin, October 9–30, 2001); “Experiments with Truth: Transitional Justice and the Processes of Truth and Reconciliation” (New Delhi, May 7–21, 2001); “Créolité and Creolization” (St. Lucia, January 13–15, 2002), and “Under Siege: Four African Cities, Freetown, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, and Lagos (Lagos, March 16–20, 2002). Numerous artworks later presented at the Kassel exhibition addressed the conceptual thread established within these three preceding platforms, creating a powerful ongoing dialogue that reverberated across countries and venues. Many of the projects presented were notably documentary in nature, and initial criticisms that the whole endeavour would be overburdened by theory was quelled by the remarkable output displayed.

On the documenta retrospective website, Wolfgang Lenk is quoted as underlining one of documenta11’s most compelling feats, namely the questioning of the “unspoken hierarchies of attention in the Western exhibition scene,” and its denial of the legitimacy of the “West’s exoticising view of ‘the foreign,’ and the confrontation of that perception with those artistic activities that conflict with our projection. … The ‘foreigners’ were once the object of our gaze – now they are looking back.”

Participating Artists

Adéagbo, Georges
Agarwal, Ravi
Ahtila, Eija-Liisa (Athila, Eija-Liisa)
Akerman, Chantal
Ancelovici, Gaston A.
Armaly, Fareed
Ashkin, Michael
Asymptote (Asymptote Architecture)
Ataman, Kutlug
Atlas Group (The Atlas Group)

Bargmann, Julie & Stacy Levy
Barrio, Artur (Barrio, Arthur)
Becher, Bernd & Hilla (Becher, Bernhard und Hilla)
Bhimji, Zarina
Black Audio Film Collective
Bock, John
Bonk, Ecke
Bouabré, Frédéric Bruly (Bruly Bouabré, Frédéric)
Bourgeois, Louise
Braila, Pavel
Brouwn, Stanley
Bruguera, Tania (Bruguera Fernandez, Tania)

Camnitzer, Luis
Coleman, James
Constant (Nieuwenhuys, Constant A.)

Darboven, Hanne
Deacon, Destiny
Douglas, Stan

Edefalk, Cecilia
Eggleston, William
Eichhorn, Maria
Ennadre, Touhami
Evans, Cerith Wyn (Wyn Evans, Cerith)

Feng Mengbo (Feng, Mengbo & Mengbo, Feng)
Feyzdjou, Chohreh
Friedman, Yona (Friedmann, Yona)

Gaba, Meschac
Gabellone, Giuseppe
Garaicoa, Carlos (Garaicoa Manso, Carlos)
Geers, Kendell
Genzken, Isa
Geys, Jef
Goldblatt, David
Golub, Leon
Gonzalez-Foerster, Dominique (Foerster, Dominique Gonzalez-)
Green, Renée
Grippo, Victor

Haaning, Jens
Hatoum, Mona
Hirschhorn, Thomas
Höfer, Candida
Horsfield, Craigie
Huit Facettes
Huyghe, Pierre

Igloolik Isuma Productions
Ivekovic, Sanja

Jaar, Alfredo
Jonas, Joan
Julien, Isaac

Kanwar, Amar
Kawara, On (On Kawara)
Kentridge, William
Keuken, Johan van der (Van der Keuken, Johan)
Kingelez, Bodys Isek (Isek Kingelez, Bodys)
Kinmont, Ben
Kopystiansky, Igor & Svetlana
Kožarić, Ivan
Kulunčić, Andreja

Le Groupe Amos (Groupe Amos & Amos, Le Group)
Ligon, Glenn
Lum, Ken

Manders, Mark
Marcaccio, Fabian
McQueen, Steve
Meireles, Cildo
Mekas, Jonas
Messager, Annette
Miyamoto, Ryuji
Mofokeng, Santu
Muñoz, Juan

Neshat, Shirin

Orozco, Gabriel
Osifuye, Olumuyiwa Olamide (Olamide Osifuye, Olumuyiwa)
Ottinger, Ulrike
Ouattara Watts (Watts, Ouattara)

Park Fiction
Pernice, Manfred
Pettibon, Raymond
Piper, Adrian
Ponger, Lisl
Portabella, Pere

Raqs Media Collective
Riera, Alejandra with Doina Petrescu
Roth, Dieter (Rot, Diter)

Salcedo, Doris
Samadian, Seifollah
Saussier, Gilles
Sekula, Allan
Shonibare, Yinka
Siekmann, Andreas
Simpson, Lorna
Sivan, Eyal
Small, David (Small, David L.)

Tan, Fiona
Tayou, Pascale Marthine
Teno, Jean-Marie
Trinh T. Minh-ha (Minh-ha, Trinh T.)
Tuerlinckx, Joëlle
Tuymans, Luc

Urbonas, Nomeda & Gediminas

Wall, Jeff
Ward, Nari
Watts, George Frederick (Watts, George Frederic & Watts, G. F. & Watts, George F.)

Yang, Fudong (Yang Fudong & Fudong, Yang)