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DOCUMENTA KASSEL 16/06-23/09 2007


aushecken – Hatching Ideas – for children’s and youth groups

What is “aushecken”?
aushecken, which we have translated as “hatching ideas”, was the title and content of the mediation program for young visitors to the documenta 12. In the open-air aushecken space, themes and works of the documenta 12 and the exhibition as a whole were investigated in collaboration with art mediators of the documenta team and, on occasion, surprise guests. Here preparations were made for what participants were about to see afterwards in an exhibition, and here they absorbed and talked about what they had already seen. But aushecken was also an activity which led to surprises. In the hedge-enclosed aushecken area, ideas were developed for testing the potentials of the “hedge cabinet” as well as those of the exhibition.

The aushecken space
The open-air aushecken space is in the Karlsaue right next to the Aue-Pavillon in a historical “Heckenkabinett” (hedge enclosure) which is part of the Orangerie. It is entered through a large white door. The grounds are 100 metres long and 10 metres wide. They are enclosed by a hornbeam hedge 4 metres high and 1.5 meters thick – i.e. thick enough to keep everything we do in here a secret.

The aushecken media
The most important medium for aushecken is your own body, which can see, feel, think, talk, gesture, walk, disappear and reappear. In addition, the following media were at our disposal for the shaping and documentation of ideas:
- drawing materials
- watercolours
- collage material
- digital cameras
- a video camera

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aushecken – Project day for school classes

documenta 12 was one of the largest exhibitions of contemporary art with over one hundred artists, over four hundred works and hundreds of thousands of visitors. But how did this all actually function?

Within the framework of a series of project days, aushecken (“to hatch a plan”) invited school classes, both basic and specialised courses, to examine documenta 12 as an organism, a machine and a system, taking a look behind the scenes.Together with a documenta 12 art educator pupils took a look at the exhibition works, observed visitors, drew, described and mapped. They were introduced to a member of the documenta 12 team who was available for discussion. They had the opportunity to ask any questions they wanted to ask; what a tailor or dressmaker, a gardener, designer or restorer actually does at documenta 12; who selects the artists, how the transportation of the works is coordinated or why one has to wear white gloves when hanging pictures.

Some pupils examined the crowd management system for the thousands of visitors and discussed with its designers to find out if and how it works. Others had the opportunity to hear what one experiences when selling tickets for the documenta or working as one of the supervision staff. Documenta 12 artists were also invited. Pupils had the opportunity to ask them how they got their ideas, and what their works have to do with school subjects such as history, politics or biology.







 
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