Claes Oldenburg, An Interview

What did you think of Documenta? How would you describe it?

It had an historical quality, with people that I regard as legendary figures, like Ben Vautier, for example. There were artists of the Viennese school who deal with abstract expressionism of blood and guts. Then there were eccentrics, such as the man who built the dirigible, Panamarenko, and Anatol, the policeman who built a house everyday, knocked it down, and built it again. There was a section on schizophrenic art, which I enjoyed very much. The exhibition did not seem to be directed toward the United States very much, nor was it one that went out of its way to flatter the United States.

You were in the last Documenta in 1968. Wasn’t this a change from the past when the emphasis was primarily on American artists?

Yes, that was one of the most remarkable things about it. There were few attempts to translate anything, no worship of

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