Ephemeral practices. The research project "The Art Educator's Walk "– Agency and Attitude of Art Mediators by Example of the documenta 14 exhibition in Kassel" (2017-18)
How exactly do art mediators create a situation in which a mediation of contemporary art can take place? What kind of attitude must they adopt toward their art mediating activities? Which strategies do they develop thereby? In answer to these questions, at the documenta 14 exhibition (2017) twenty “walks” were accompanied and interviewed by ten “members of the chorus” (documenta 14 art mediators) as part of the research project "The Art Educator's Walk - Agency and Attitude of Contemporary Art Mediators by Example of the documenta 14 exhibition in Kassel". The research project explored the per se ephemeral practice of art mediation in art exhibitions with the thesis that art mediation as a practice is rooted in an attitude that makes agency possible. This contribution discusses the historical development of art mediation at the documenta. Concepts and backgrounds of art mediation, particularly ‘un-learning’, set the stage for the actions of the “members of the chorus” interviewed and accompanied. Participant observations and semi-structured, leitmotif-oriented interviews, generated as part of a preliminary project at the Institute for Practices and Theories of the Arts at the Berne University of the Arts (BUA), reflect the qualitative-empirical setting of this research project. The situation of data acquisition is also discussed. Over the course of three "Streifzüge" (excursions), which analyze the initial movements of a so called walk over documenta 14, the dilemma of knowledge and art mediation as work, presents and discusses the material collected exemplarily.
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