The international contemporary art show Documenta, held in the German city of Kassel, is just around the corner. Needless to say, I’m already planning a visit. And it looks like they’re already beginning to epater les bourgeois. Yesterday, for a short time, the documenta website was ‘taken over’ by link (G) to an S & M video created by a Berlin-based performance artist and "theoretician" Hito Steyerl (G).

Here’s an English-language description from Artworld Salon:

An hour ago, Artworld Salon regular Heman Chong informed me that an extremely NSFW [= Not Safe for Work, ah] video (bondage, nudity, etc, in the Araki style) was had just been posted on the main page of Documenta’s website. It’s the trailer for “Lovely Andrea” by Hito Steyerl, and ties into Documenta theme number 2, “What is bare life?” explained thus on the site: “Bare life deals with that part of our existence from which no measure of security will ever protect us. But, as in sexuality, absolute exposure is intricately connected with infinite pleasure.” I watched it in disbelief, and started to write this post.

And then fifteen minutes later it was gone. (There’s a link to the video in YouTube here. Sometimes it seems to be password-protected,UPDATE: “This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.” Here are some NSFW screencaps.) Kremlinologists of the artworld, how shall we parse this: Is someone inside subverting Buergel’s secretiveness? Is this more of his peekaboo promotional tactics? Or perhaps a sign of boldness, that was suddenly second-guessed and yanked offline? (UPDATE: It’s answer #2, see comment from Heman below.)

In said comment, Heman Chong, whose name I’d kill for, says: "Apparently, according to my insider sources, the video will be up for a couple of hours each day for the next couple of days. So it might be worth it to troll around your computer to catch a glimpse of it."

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