For 100 days, over 150 artists from 55 countries, and other participants from around the world, gathered and presented artworks of all mediums, curatorial projects, as well as other objects and experiments in the fields of art, politics, literature, philosophy, and science.
dOCUMENTA (13) was a series of artistic acts and gestures that took place, alongside an exhibition that opened on June 9, 2012, which ran for 100 days. dOCUMENTA (13) did not follow a single, overall concept but engaged in conducting, and choreographing manifold materials, methods, and knowledges.
Ahmady's dynamic role as a dOCUMENTA (13) Agent involved advising on the selection of artists for the exhibition in Kassel as well as Kabul, alongside leading a series of workshops in Kabul spanning art theory, perspectives on international contemporary art, and the building of a critical art magazine. Ahmady also contributed to the creation the Vyacheslav Akhunov dOCUMENTA (13) notebook, as part of "100 Thoughts - 100 Notes"
dOCUMENTA (13): 100 Thoughts - 100 Notes
Vyacheslav Akhunov, with an introduction by Leeza AhmadyReleased April 2012
During the Soviet regime, the artist, author, and philosopher Vyacheslav Akhunov hid his notebooks in stables and barns, in murals and matchboxes. For the artist, the notebook is an autonomous artistic medium. Between 1973 and 2000, he archived more than three thousand of his ironic, visionary drawings and collages on paper for two hundred projects.
In this notebook, one finds excerpts from works dated between 1974 and 1982. Leeza Ahmady's introduction to Akhunov's drawings and collages, which the artist refers to as "art-facts," interprets and reveals these as sensitive forebodings of the fall of the socialist era and as a contemporary document conceived to outlast the present. Purchase Notebook 060: "100 Thoughts - 100 Notes" (USA)Purchase Notebook 060: "100 Thoughts - 100 Notes" (Europe)
dOCUMENTA (13) in Kabul
As part of dOCUMENTA (13), a number of workshops, seminars and other activities took place in Kabul involving artists, art writers, and thinkers. These events fostered the discussion of key questions and materials introduced by the exhibition held in Kabul from June 20 to July 19, 2012. The seminars were organized in partnership with several Afghan public cultural institutions active in different fields such as visual arts, music, theater, and film.
Kabul Seminars and Lectures
ICI Dispatch- Mud to Conctrete: A Report on Kabul (PDF)
dOCUMENTA (13) Exhibition in Kabul
Dialogues in Contemporary Art: Mariam Ghani
May 8, 2012
Artist Mariam Ghani and Independent Curator and dOCUMENTA (13) Agent Leeza Ahmady spoke about their contributions to the dOCUMENTA (13)
"100 Notes- 100 Thoughts," notebook series, and shared their perspectives on the recent influx of international art activities in Kabul, Afghanistan. This event also launched Ghani and Ahmady's notebooks in New York.
Listen to Take 2 with Mariam GhaniAs part of Dialogues in Contemporary Art (ICI)
Artist / Agent Conversations
Presented at dOCUMENTA (13)
As part of the Maybe Education and Public Programs, the program consisted of talks between agents and artists during the opening week of dOCUMENTA (13), June 6 - 10th, 2012. These talks were intended to activate the exhibition spaces of dOCUMENTA (13) and open dialogues with the many participants of the project and its diverse audiences. Scheduled every hour, on a small mobile stage in the proximity of each corresponding artistic project.
Ahmady spoke with participating artists about their commissions and projects during opening days of the exhibition:
Barmak Akram (June 7th)
Afghan artist and filmmaker Barmak Akram discussed his installation consisting of the presentation of a selection of his "phyto-morphic" cuttings from popular press, accompanied by a new video installation shot mid-way between Kabul and Bamiyan.Sopheap Pich (June 8th)
Cambodian artist Sopheap Pich creates biomorphic sculptures and installations that address issues of time, memory, and the body, often relating to his childhood memories of life during the Khmer Rouge period. Pich and Ahmady discussed his "Relief" paintings, a series of rattan and bamboo works that recall his original training as a painter. Masood Kamandy (June 8th)
Masood Kamandy spoke about his project Superpositional. The installation, which takes its title from particle physics, explored the collapsing of time and space through the photographic process.Khadim Ali (June 9th)
Khadim Ali's creates intense collage-like miniature paintings which convey the complex history of Afghanistan. Ali and Ahmady discussed his project "Haunted Lotus," a four-panel work that incorporates scenes from the Persian epic Shahnameh and classical miniature techniques to allude to the persecution of Hazara people by the Taliban and the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddahs. Mariam Ghani (June 10th)
Mariam Ghani discussed her latest video installation commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13), which takes as its subjects the ruined Dar-ul Aman Palace in Kabul, and the restored Museum Fridericianum in Kassel. The two-channel video installation A Brief History of Collapses, traverses the two buildings in parallel courses to explore both similarities and differences in their structures, histories, and myths.
In Conversation: Leeza Ahmady and Mariam Ghani
Asian Art Museum San Francisco
Artist Mariam Ghani spoke to independent curator Leeza Ahmady about the phantoms in her work, from the specters of real but repressed histories, to the horrors that haunt the edges of present politics, to the conceivable but unrealized futures that manifest as possible spaces hovering above or alongside actual, traversable spaces.
Ghani and Ahmady also discussed their work in Afghanistan, sharing their perspectives on their participation in dOCUMENTA (13)'s initiative in Kabul and Bamiyan, which included a series of seminars (Feb - June) and an exhibition at the Bagh-e-Babur Gardens in Kabul.
For more information about dOCUMENTA (13) visit: http://d13.documenta.de/#to-visit/