Volkswagen and documenta fifteen: fostering sustainability

  • Volkswagen continues to be leading partner of the world’s most recognized exhibition for contemporary art, to be opened from June 18 until September 25, 2022 in Kassel
  • Volkswagen drives documenta towards e-mobility by providing exhibition visitors with a fast charger park and supporting the exhibition team with electric cars and electric cargo-bikes
  • Volkswagen Art4ALL tickets offer free access to documenta for 14.000 students
  • Volkswagen employees to support setup and dismantling at the exhibition sites   

For the fifth time Volkswagen supports documenta. The largest exhibition for contemporary art takes place in Kassel which is also home of one of Volkswagen’s production sites. As a leading partner, the company stands behind the joint approach of documenta and Museum Fridericianium gGmbH in improving the environmental footprint of the international art event. Documenta fifteen is going to be curated by the Indonesian artist collective ruangrupa using lumbung, a practice based on collectivity, resource building and sustainable exchange. Between June 18 and September 25, 2022 the exhibition will invite visitors on more than 100 days to experience artworks from all over the world.

Artistic Team members at the ruruHaus (f.l.t.r. Lara Khaldi, Iswanto Hartono, Gertrude Flentge, Mirwan Andan, Frederikke Hansen, Julia Sarisetiati, Reza Afisina, Ajeng Nurul Aini, Ade Darmawan, Indra Ameng), Kassel, 2021. Photo / Foto: Nicolas Wefers

Driving electric mobility forward and being a partner of documenta, Volkswagen enables visitors to explore the ample exhibition site in an all-electric, convenient and efficient way by using models from the ID. family. Adding the corresponding infrastructure, Volkswagen Group Components installs 30 mobile fast chargers using plug-and-play technology. Without the requirement of any underground work, every fast charger is instantly ready to be used after set-up and configuration and is able to simultaneously charge two electric cars with up to 150 kW, offering in just 15 minutes enough power for driving around 200 km.

In addition, Volkswagen and the local administration are going to build permanent charging points which will be available for people in the Kassel region also beyond the duration of the exhibition. This is part of Volkswagen’s efforts in expanding the electric vehicle charging infrastructure: together with its partners, Volkswagen is going to mount a third of the fast charger network required in Europe until 2025.

Further to partnership activities at previous documenta exhibitions, Volkswagen trainees from the Kassel plant will assist at selected art projects. In 2017, trainees helped the Argentinian artist Marta Minujín to set up her work “The Pantheon of books” in the heart of Kassel.

Young students will benefit from Volkswagen Art4ALL. With the help of this Volkswagen initiative, documenta and Museum Fridericianum gGmbH will be able to distribute 14.000 free tickets to young people. This access to the experience of culture and the arts shall be specifically opened to schools with a focus on inclusion and integration as well as schools in challenging economic environments. Volkswagen is also funding a VW fellowship position dedicated to offer a young academic talent with an in-depth 12-month cultural experience.

Benita von Maltzahn, Head of Cultural Engagement at Volkswagen Group Communications, knows documenta very well after several years of partnership work: “The ideas of the team of documenta fifteen are very similar to ours. We always aim to provide as many people as possible with access to cultural experiences. And we are constantly looking for the most sustainable and resource saving ways to realize them. E-mobility and charging infrastructure will contribute to bring culture and people together as we strongly believe in an actual art experience and the personal exchange of views to turn encounters in lasting and inspiring events.” 

Documenta also plays an important role for the employees at the Volkswagen plant in Kassel, the people in North Hesse and others: “Volkswagen provides strong support in challenging times. This is how we understand social responsibility and how we want people to have the chance to engage with culture and the arts. We are honoured to be able to support the global perception of documenta with our leading expertise in e-mobility”, says Jörg Fenstermann, Director of the Volkswagen’s Kassel plant. “Here in North Hesse, we are responsible for a key pillar of sustainable mobility by developing and producing electric drivetrains for the new ID. family amongst other components. Like many trainees and employees I am looking forward to the creative and encouraging approaches to sustainability which is also paramount for our work in the Kassel plant.”

Christian Geselle, Chairman of the Supervisory Board documenta and Museum Fridericianum gGmbH and mayor of Kassel, underlines: “We are pleased to welcome Volkswagen again as a partner for the upcoming edition of documenta – an international art exhibition supported by an international company which also operates the Kassel plant and is therefore firmly rooted in the Kassel region. Volkswagen’s substantial contribution to our fast charger network moves us forward on our way to realize the plans for an extensive publicly accessible charging infrastructure.”

Responsible for the artistic direction of documenta fifteen, ruangrupa explains: “For us and all those involved, documenta fifteen is an important stop on our journey – a journey that has already begun years before the opening and will continue beyond documenta fifteen. We therefore see our work as a long-term engagement and we want to leave something lasting behind with documenta fifteen – sustainable in ecological, economic , social terms and empowered local ekosistem. We appreciate the support of artistic practice within our partnership with VW and look forward to the cooperation with the Volkswagen employees from Baunatal, whom we are very happy to meet.”

Dr. Sabine Schormann, CEO documenta and Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, is delighted to continue the long-lasting partnership with Volkswagen during documenta fifteen: “Documenta fifteen is set to use a sustainable and forward-looking framework and through the collaboration with Volkswagen the right measures are being added: our team is able to use a large e-mobility infrastructure – and Kassel receives a boost for the local charging network. We are also very grateful for the social perspective of our partnership: Volkswagen Art4ALL is a key instrument to open documenta fifteen to young students who wouldn’t be able to visit us otherwise.”

Source: Volkswagen, https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/volkswagen-and-documenta-fifteen-fostering-sustainability-7542