Between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, a 840,000 kg cluster of iron meteorites known as Campo del Cielo (Field of the Sky) collided with Earth in north-central Argentina. This year, Buenos Aires-based artists, Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolás Goldberg attempted to move a large chunk of Campo del Cielo to Kassel for dOCUMENTA(13). After condemnation as a ‘deeply colonialist attitude’ by social anthropologist, Alejandro Martín López and protests by the Moqoit First Nation peoples, the meteorite remained where it had landed and discussion about respect for the traditional custodians, their land and their meteorite became a talking point throughout dOCUMENTA(13). Site specific engagement continued to play an important role in this edition of documenta. Spread across four cities (Kassel, Kabul, Cairo and Banff ) and containing a profuse amount of works by artists, writers, performers and scientists the entire dOCUMENTA(13) program was impossible to experience, even if you had Brad Pitt’s private jet to get from one site to the next.
SITE is also an important aspect of contemporary practice and discourse. Many artists work with it, discuss it or are affected by it, and so we made SITE the theme of this, our latest, edition of runway. Inside this issue Abby Cunnane’s feature discusses SITE in terms of distance and place for artists working abroad. Andrew Burrell, though a creative writing essay and photographic works, tells a psycho-sensorial story about the Australian bush. Rachel Fuller also narrates this important SITE for artistic activity through her journey from city to country-based artist. PageWorks by JD Reforma, Megan Garrett-Jones, Biljana Jancic and Jeremy Bakker provide a luscious journey through space and place. Now back to that Meteorite, or do I mean dOCUMENTA(13)? Amelia Groom discusses dOCUMENTA(13) through online chats with friends, which provides another fractured discourse on what was already a multifarious event.
In this issue we have explored SITE as a composition of multiple physical, psychological, historical and time based arrangements. As such SITE exists beyond a singular situation and commonly discussed issues of site specificity. We hope you enjoy this issue of runway, wherever you may be reading it.
Jai McKenzie is an artist, writer and educator based in Berlin. Her practice is preoccupied with creating experiences and artistic processes that determine new models...