Audience Report
Documenta 12 - Museum Fridericianum 
June 2007 

At the first time I visited the Museum Fridericianum in Kassel I pointed a remarkable, in my opinion, phenomenon in the second floor of the exhibition hall. After a few days I decided to visit the space again, having the photo camera with me, in order to find out if what I saw four days before was just a false impression or a real fact. In the second floor of the Fridericianum two art works draw my attention, not only because of their theme but also because I realized that those works had a specific audience, according to my observation. I decided to take a picture in front of each work, and the audience, every five, fifteen or thirty minutes in order to prove the results of my observation. 

Lidwien Van De Ven work “Document” consists on a series of “images from an infinitely complex conflict zone: the intersection between the Middle East and Europe, Islam, Judaism, Christianity and secularism”. Walking around Van De Ven’s photos I noticed that both men and women seemed to be very attracted to this work but it proved to be true the fact that men were a bit more than the women were stand in front of the images. Men also spend much more time looking at the pictures and some times they start discussions about the work. Women leave earlier but the irony here lays at the fact that Lidwien Van De Ven is a woman.

The second artwork I observed in the same floor of Fridericianum is a video by Tseng Yu-Chin. Tseng’s work “functions as a vehicle for him to examine his lost childhood, and as a tool to reflect on issues of innocence”. In this video, “Who’s Listening? No 5”, a mother and her 4-year old son sit on a white sofa while she engages in intimate gestures like kissing and tickling the boy. The result that came up from my observation and the data I gathered shows that the majority of the audience that stands and watching at the video is women and men stay only for a while. Men seem to perceive this video as an issue that talks only to the women but this male “attitude” which tent to be almost a kind of rejection or an “aversion” to the relationship that the video presents raise some unclear points about men’s psychology.