Documenta 13’s Unrealized Projects

“Unbuilt Roads,” edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist. (Courtesy Hatje Cantz Publishers)

Documenta has a really nice history of attracting projects from artists that turn out to be too unwieldy or costly to realize, some of which are almost certainly designed to fail, like Alina Szapocznikow’s plan to make a double-sized Rolls Royce out of marble for the 1972 edition of the show. (The organizers told her they didn’t have the money and Rolls Royce politely declined sponsoring the sculpture, which she termed “completely useless, and a reflection of the god of supreme luxury.” Her correspondence with various people about the project has since been exhibited in various shows.)

Over at Art Agenda, Filipa Ramos reports that this year’s Documenta has at least two ambitious failed projects of its own. Here’s Ms. Ramos:

In the same building, on the first floor, visitors are presented with two walls covered with letters from official organizations that once more address the Artistic Director, this time to answer her proposal of nominating the earth’s atmosphere for UNESCO’s World Heritage List (a project of the American artist Amy Balkin). The epic, yet failed, attempt to transport El Chaco meteorite to Kassel, undertaken by the Argentinean duo Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolás Goldberg, is also widely documented by various exchanges.

Artists, just file those away for when Han Ulrich Obrist publishes another compendium of unrealized projects.

Documenta 13’s Unrealized Projects