For the first installment of documenta diaries…here is George Baker’s “The Globalization of the False: A Response to Okwui Enwezor” (2004). Much of the work seen thus far at the German quinquennial, having liberated itself from theory and history, is therefore very literal, in a Thelma-Golden’s-1993-Whitney-Biennal way. There is more going on at documenta, of course, than granular personal narrative…but the emphasis is definitely on identity and by extension individuality.

Nate Freeman of ArtNews neutrally describes the three-hour press conference that opened the press access days to the exhibition, while characterising the loquacious curators as dynamic. We have different definitions of “fiery” and “combative” (which seem like positions the art should be taking). Maybe the tedium of being proselytized to by misogynist curator of public programs Paul B. Preciado set the tone for the first day of the program in Kassel, or, fifteen years from the time of Baker’s original talk on the global art fair scene, the international elite is running on fumes.

At the reception at Kassel’s Rathaus, the best installation of the day was undoubtedly Stadt Kassel’s funereal and fun altar.

More to come.