Spencer Lecture | Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev

This session, Spencer focussed on the Artistic director of the prestigious dOCUMENTA 13.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is an American-Italian writer, art historian and curator. In October 2012 Art Review magazine named her number one in their annual Power 100 list of the most influential figures in contemporary art. She is of Bulgarian descent. She is married to the Italian artist Cesare Pietroiusti and has two daughters.

The dOCUMENTA 13 was an edition of the quinquennial contemporary art exhibition documents. It took place between 9 June until 16 September 2012 in Kassell. The exhibition is held under the theme Collapse and Recovery. Exhibits can be seen in several venues in the city, among others in the Fridericianum museum, and in the Karlsaue, a large urban park.

Spencer analysed Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev by her form of practise and theory. The exhibition realigns perception to consider creativity from a broader sphere then a human. Spencer provided examples of work that was featured in the exhibition.


Geoffrey Farmer – Leaves of Grass


This artistic work is collage based exploring materialistic and multiplicity culture.

Pierre Huyghe’s – Bee Headed Woman



Song Dong- Doing Nothing Garden



This was a area of untouched land and a gradual piece of art; apparently.

Ryan Gander- I Need Some Meaning I Can Memorise 



This was an exhibition put on showcasing a breeze of air using ventilation.

People have claimed that the documenta exhibtion lacks concept, whereas others have said it is engaging and innovative. Perhaps it is a bit of both?

Carolyn believes that multiplicity doesn’t work, and it the exhibition is more about coherence as a state of mind in creativity. She believes that crag leads to forms of knowledge, and researching how perception is transformed into knowledge.

Even though her work is associated with the theory of Deleuze, Carolyn claims to distance herself from this as she is not influenced by him, but instead shares influences through him. She believes that her work is generated from feminist thinking.

Overall, I found this lecture somewhat interesting, but was more impressed that I managed to follow what was going on.