#DocumentaSceptic unfolds as a converging project by the former projects of the artist, Biennalist, and Emergency Room, as it questions the two art events, namely, Documenta and Venice Biennale 2017 before and while they happen. The art project takes the field in Kassel and Athens where Documenta 14 (2017), under the motto ‘Learning from Athens’ for the first time takes place at two locations. Simultaneously, the project emerges as a specially designed online platform and as a dynamic exhibition at SABSAY, evolving through phases, reflecting the artist’s engagement with the concept of the “ultracontemporary”, the here and now.
Through a changing presentation of artworks the exhibition can adjust to the now anytime, addressing questions like “Is Documenta Dangerous?”, “Why Athens?”, “Do artists have a role or a function?”, etc. It aims to train our collective ‘muscle of awareness’, to stimulate debate and critical thinking in our time where the masses have been claimed to seek spectacle and entertainment rather than messages and meaning. Problematizing our perception and perhaps rejection of the real, the artist wonders if global art shows like Documenta are fabricated to create change or to lull us into false security?
For decades artists have questioned the canvas, the pigment, and since the1960s conceptual artists like Marcel Broodthaers among others have questioned the structure of the museum. Thierry Geoffroy goes even further and has worked on probing biennales and other cultural managed events like Documenta, festivals, conferences, etc., since 1989. As art and institutions are today being conceived as inseparables in many respects, to include the continuously growing biennales and other global staged art events in the discussion about the structure of the art institutions seems inevitable.
Thierry Geoffroy strives to imbricate art and artists in the most crucial and current of social, political and mediatized spectacles, referring to his work and method as ‘format art’. Biennalist, the starting point of #DocumentaSceptic, is one of the artist’s art formats, which responds to and questions the themes and motivations of the biennales. Taking the themes of these events seriously the project challenges the established structures in order to contribute to the debate, which the staged art events wish to generate.