The Worldly House

Artist: The Worldly House
installation | 2012

Who do we touch when we touch a kitten? How does this touch affect the network of multispecies relationships that we cultivate every day? Donna J. Haraway (b. 1944) considers the interactions of humans with many kinds of living beings, especially with those who are considered domesticated. From designer pets to laboratory animals to trained therapy animals, she explores with finesse philosophical, cultural and biological aspects of animal-​human encounters. In her profoundly intimate but intellectually pioneering work “When Species Meet”, Haraway develops the idea of ​​companion species that meet and dine together, but not entirely without some digestive disorders. “When Species Meet” is an astonishing contemplation on the liaison between human and animal kind, philosophy and science as well as macro and micro cultures. In the “Worldly House” of documenta 13 this and many other written works by Haraway found "shelter". Originally, the black wooden hut surrounded by water was a refuge for the black swan, once situated in the “Kasseler Auepark”. After the migration of the swans, the hut did not remain unused, according to traces. Kassel's secret mascot, the raccoon, settled there. For Carolyn Christov-​Bakargiev’s (b. 1957) edition of the world art exhibition in 2012, these inhabitants also had to give way. The “Worldly House” was installed as an archive inspired by Haraway's writings on multi-​species coevolution. This living archive was compiled and presented by Tue Greenfort (b. 1973), for the purpose of the investigation of multispecies relations and the creation of bonds between species. In addition to many texts and books, a large number of videos as well as documentation of art works and projects were exhibited. Thus the panorama of possibilities of contemplation provided by the place in the fairy-​tale like lake was excellently refined. The seemingly self-​constructed hut promoted itself with soothing solitude and promised an open space for reflection. Today, there is still the possibility to nurture one's own curiosity in researching our multispecies relationships. For this, the path to the hidden swan hut no longer needs to be found; a visit to the library of the documenta archiv during the regular opening hours is enough. In addition to many other publications, the library contains many publications, which could be found in 2012 for 100 days at the “Worldly House”. Michael Gärtner


Documenta 13 | 2012.06.09 - 2012.09.16 | Brüder-Grimm-Museum | documenta-Halle(Kassel, Germany) | Hauptbahnhof(Kassel, Germany) | Karlsaue | Karlsaue park(Kassel, Germany) | Museum Fridericianum(Kassel, Germany) | Neue Galerie(Kassel, Germany) | Oberste Gasse 4(Kassel, Germany) | Orangerie(Kassel, Germany) | Ottoneum(Kassel, Germany) | Untere Karlsstr. 14