Two different experiences, two cities and geographical contexts, both at the centre of attention of the media as well as (apparently) remote from the world of contemporary art.

Andrea Viliani, a member of the Core Agent Group of dOCUMENTA(13), has co-curated dOCUMENTA(13)’s seminars and exhibition in Kabul and Bamiyan, projects developed over the last three years in collaboration with among others such Afghan cultural institutions as the National Museum of Afghanistan, the National Gallery of Kabul, Kabul University, the CCAA (Center for Contemporary Art Afghanistan) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Kabul. The four positions into which dOCUMENTA(13) is divided – hope / siege / stage / withdrawal – represent, although without claiming to cover them all, the positions and frames of mind, working conditions and prospects in which artists and intellectuals can find themselves operating today. Kabul and Bamiyan (respectively state capital of Afghanistan and provincial capital of the region of the same name in central Afghanistan where, in 2001, the gigantic statues of the Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed) represent meeting points of these positions: in the context of these two cities the artists have experienced, along with the overexposure that afflicts, and distorts, the image of contemporary Afghanistan in the media, sensations of isolation and separation, siege and danger, involvement and expectation. Viliani will illustrate his experience of working in Afghanistan and some of the projects produced within the framework of dOCUMENTA(13),including those of artists like Goshka Macuga, Mario Garcia Torres (in relation to the presence of Alighiero Boetti’s One Hotel in Kabul), Francis Alys, Adrian Villar Rojas, Mariam Ghani and Barmak Akhram.