Debate

Courbet at documenta 14 – Charity and Other Alternative Economies

Eleonora Vratskidou

Published online:

18 Dec 2018

Abstract

Abstract

This essay departs from documenta 14’s reading of Gustave Courbet’s drawing Alms from a Beggar at Ornans (1868) in the opening room of the Neue Galerie in Kassel and seeks to unravel the complex aesthetic and semantic web drawn across the exhibits in the room in relation to the drawing. Based on this close reading, the article critically engages with some of the core concepts of documenta 14’s curatorial project including solidarity, hospitality, alternative economies, and non-reciprocal forms of exchange, in order to reflect on the discrepancies embedded in the radical public rhetoric of the show.

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