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Call for book donations and introductory press talk

Frankfurt, 6 October 2016 – The first artwork of documenta 14 will be presented at the Frankfurter Buchmesse on October 20, 2016. The press talk with artist Marta Minujín, Adam Szymczyk, documenta 14’s Artistic Director, and Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, will take place at 2:30 pm on the Open Stage at the Agora. No registration necessary.

For “The Parthenon of Books,” Argentinian artist Marta Minujín will collect up to 100.000 previously forbidden books that are currently being re-published or whose distribution is still prevented by censorship. On June 10, 2017, on occasion of the opening of documenta 14 in Kassel, the installation will be presented to the public and will be on view for 100 days.

Marta Minujín, the team of documenta 14, and the Frankfurter Buchmesse cordially invite the public, publishers, and authors to donate books for “The Parthenon of Books” between October 19–23, 2016, and thus to become part of the work. Books can also be donated after Frankfurter Buchmesse by sending them via mail or bringing them personally to the documenta 14 offices either in Athens or Kassel. The collected books will be assembled in Kassel to form a replica of the temple on the Acropolis in Athens, aesthetically and politically representing a symbol of the first democracy.

Minujín’s “The Parthenon of Books” traces its origins to an installation titled “El Partenón de libros”, which was realized in 1983, shortly after the collapse of the civilian-military dictatorship in Argentina. The work included the very books that had been banned by the ruling junta. After five days of exhibition, the visitors removed and handed out the books. A collective public action devoted to returning the books to circulation is also being planned for the new Parthenon at the end of documenta 14.

„Democracy without books is not democracy.“
–Marta Minujín

“Censorship, the persecution of writers, and the prohibition of their texts motivated by political interests and attempting to influence our thoughts, our ideas, and our bodies, are once again widespread today. “The Parthenon of Books” sets an example against violence, discrimination, and intolerance.”
—Adam Szymczyk

“Books have the ability to question power and politics. This is what makes them so important for a liberal society. This is also the reason why the prohibition of books betrays so much about their times and the respective political order. The installation “The Parthenon of Books” by Marta Minujín uses books that were previously banned to present them at documenta 14 in Kassel. We are delighted that the foundations for this inspiring work will be made at this year’s book fair and hope for a lively participation from our exhibiting publishers and authors.”
—Juergen Boos

In addition to documenta 14’s program at the Agora of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, the documenta Archive will be hosted in the section THE ARTS+. Within this framework there will be a workshop on October 21 in THE ARTS+ fairgrounds to develop strategies to digitize the documenta Archive and make it available globally. THE ARTS+ takes place during Frankfurter Buchmesse for the first time this year, and aims to discuss the possibilities of digitization in the cultural and creative industries. in a new window)

About documenta 14
documenta is recognized as the world’s most renowned and debated international exhibition of contemporary art. The fourteenth edition of the exhibition series takes place in Athens (April 8–July 16, 2017) and Kassel (June 10–September 17, 2017). Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk has proposed a twofold structure for the exhibition, as reflected in the working title “Learning from Athens.” In 2017, Kassel and the Greek capital will host the exhibition on an equal footing: Kassel has relinquished its hitherto undisputed position as the central exhibition venue in favor of another role, namely that of a guest in Athens. The different locations and divergent historical, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds of Kassel and Athens have come to bear on the actual process of creating the two parts of the exhibition, while inspiring and influencing the individual works of art at the same time. in a new window)

About the Frankfurter Buchmesse
The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 275,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists – including 2,000 bloggers - in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. With its Business Club, the Frankfurter Buchmesse offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association. in a new window)

Contact for the media:
Maxie Fischer, German Press and Media at documenta 14, T +49 561 707 276 146, in a new window)
If you have questions regarding the book donations, please contact Caroline Kim, Communications Coordinator at documenta 14, T + 49 (0) 561 707272727 or via email to in a new window)

Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-138, in a new window)
Jördis Hille, PR Manager, Tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-271, in a new window)
> Press information online >
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