She wrote: “I welcome the occupy movement in the Friedrichsplatz, which has grown over the last weeks. It continues the wave of democratic protests that have been spreading across many cities in the world. It enacts the possibility of reinventing the use of public space and appears to me to be in the spirit of Joesph Beuys who marked Documenta and its history significantly, embodying another idea of collective decision making and political responsibility through direct democracy.”
She also asked the protestors “to care for the square, and to take responsibility for the space they have the right to occupy, to consider the City of Kassel and the other visitors of documenta in a worldly spirit of germination and flourishing.”
In Berlin, however, a decision to include activists in the 7th Berlin Biennale almost backfired on the organisers when members of Occupy and M15 (the Spanish protest movement) reacted to a curatorial framework that penned them into a zoo-like enclosure where they could be watched from a viewing platform. They issued a set of ultimatums, including a demand that the hierarchical structure of the Biennale be dismantled and replaced with an Occupy-style working group.
Their proposals were accepted by artist/curator Artur Zmijewski. “I didn't invite them as artists”, he said. “I invited them as important political actors of our time to come together and use a cultural institution. Maybe the 'human zoo' was good because they reacted and started a process.”
Image: Occupy protesters at dOCUMENTA (13)