What is Platform6?
In the course of our research and preparation for Documenta11 in 2002 the curatorial team discussed the possibility of organising a sixth platform. It would feature the voices of artists, curators, critics and intellectuals formed by the experience of Documenta11 and its various platforms. The spirit of the event should be that of reculer pour mieux sauter, looking back to look forward, using the event to reformulate the issues most urgent to our practices just as Documenta11 itself enabled us to rethink our political, cultural and aesthetic engagements.
Documenta11 team members Ute Meta Bauer, Angelika Nollert and myself visited Okwui in Munich where he was confined by illness but where he continued to work on his Haus der Kunst and critical and curatorial projects. With his health deteriorating we began discussing projects such as the Exhibition Grief and Grievance with the New Museum in New York, the Sharjah Biennial where Okwui planned to present Post-Colonial, the companion exhibition to the Haus der Kunst Post War, and Platform 6 which he proposed that I initiate. We approached the current managing director of documenta, Sabine Schormann, the documenta archiv and the artistic direction of documenta 15 ruangrupa to propose a collaboration on this project.
The original plan was for an international conference in Kassel in 2019, but early in the planning purposes this had to be postponed because of Covid 19. Instead, with their encouragement we began to plan this website. This is intended as an open text, a resource comprising contributions from collaborators on Documenta11 as well as other of Okwui’s ground breaking exhibitions. The hope is that it will encourage readers and participants to explore the history of Documenta11 and its continuing relevance today.
This is a project of the documenta archive who have been researching and restoring material from the 2002 exhibition, including recordings of the platform conferences, and arranging reprints of key Documenta11 Platform and Exhibition texts, much of this material not available since 2002. At the same time we have begun to receive many exciting contributions from artists, curators and critics which you will find on the web pages which follow. New thinking for new times we hope. Please join us in developing this project.
The documenta archive is a continuous research institutionworking with the history of the documenta exhibitions. The focus on Documenta11, apart from its critical success as important as Harald Szeemans Documenta 5, is occasioned by the so premature death of Okwui Enwezor and the commitment of the curatorial team, ruangrupa and documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH to honour Okwui’s legacy. Indeed it was the wish of the mayor of Kassel to honour Okwui that was one of the spurs to action on this project.
We invite contributions which serve to advance the global perspectives which Okwui and his collaborators initiated. Okwui was adamant that however relevant as the history of Documenta11 might be today, we should be using this opportunity to use these tools to project future research and projects.
You will find a web interface designed by L2M3 communication design to facilitate the exploration of the original Documenta11 and linked by an ingenious colour coding to present your contributions. Please send your contribution to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Nash, Ute Meta Bauer and Angelika Nollert
How is Platform6 structured?
The landing page features impressions of Okwui Enwezor and Documenta11, 2002, as well as other materials that provide an introduction to the project.
The upper menu bar has current contributions about Enwezor and Documenta11 Recently and, under Talks, related interviews and conversations.
The lower menu bar will take you to an overview of the previous five platforms of Documenta11. A selection of contributions from Platform1–4 has been made available in the form of texts or videos. Under Platform5, an image gallery and excerpts from the exhibition catalog offer a look back at the exhibition.
Using the menu on the right, you can filter contributions by keywords or conduct a full text search in the Search field. The About field provides information about Platform6 and its initiators and organizers.
The videos about Platform1–4 have been edited for the website. This historical material does not meet today's standards for image and sound quality.
Platform6 will be updated with new, additional content at regular intervals.
Credits of Platform6
Special thanks to the curatorial team:
Mark Nash, Ute Meta Bauer, Angelika Nollert
and Vladimir Seput, UC Santa Cruze
Idea: Sabine Schormann
Concept: Martin Groh
Realization: documenta archiv team
Birgitta Coers, Martin Groh
Coordination and editing: Alexandra Winterhoff
Image- and text-editing: Natalie Schmidt
Video-editing, images, film and media restoration: Michael Gärtner, Maximilian Preuss
Webdesign and technical implementation: L2M3 Kommunikationsdesign, Stuttgart