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documenta 14: Learning from Athens

Updated: May 10, 2021

In 2017 Big Olive was selected the official travel and service partner for documenta 14 in Athens. Our company was commissioned by the German entity to offer an array of destination services to an estimated number of 100,000 visitors from April to July. The documenta is the world's most visited contemporary art fair with a total attendance of over one million people.

Our rendered services included:

  • Visitor Service to handle an estimated traffic of 100,000 visitors (6 Apr - 16 Jul 2017)

  • Conduction of the documenta-specific guided tours within the main exhibition venues (EMST, Athens Conservatoire, The Benaki Museum, the Athens School of Fine Arts]

  • Ticketing, payment and registration services at the main exhibition venue.

  • Distribution of the documenta merchandise and publications

  • Exclusive travel & destination services

  • Accredited press welcome service during the preview days (over 1,200 international journalists)


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On top of the above, our team crafted bespoke itineraries and / or offered hospitality services to private groups that visited Athens on the occasion of the documenta. We were honoured to be visited, among many others, by:

  • Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

  • Guggenheim Trustees NY

  • Secession Vienna

  • PIN - Friends of the Pinakothek der Moderne Munich

  • Palais de Tokyo

  • Vienna contemporary

  • Royal Academy of Arts London

  • Kunsthalle Basel

  • Museum Tinguely Basel

  • MIT List Visual Arts Center

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

  • International Friends of documenta

  • Galerie Eva Presenhuber

  • Getty Foundation

  • Museum of Modern Art New York

  • Royal Museum of Fine Arts Belgium

  • Volksbuehne

Academic Institutions:

  • Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

  • Academy of Fine Arts Munich

  • Academy of Fine Arts, Muenster

  • University of Amsterdam

  • FH Potsdam

  • University of Cologne

  • Academy of Art and Design FHNW Basel

  • Royal College of Art

  • University of Geneva

  • Higher Institute for Fine Arts, Belgium

Throughout the exhibition our team handled requests by more than 400 art patrons, institutions, art agencies & other cultural actors.

We conclude this post with a letter from documenta Education, providing the experience specs:

Paths, routes, and courses cross and intertwine, as visitors are invited to follow their own desire lines through documenta 14. Visitors are encouraged to take walks, treading in the footsteps of Annemarie and Lucius Burckhardt’s "strollology." Accompanied by a member of the Chorus, visitors can create their own lines of enquiry, questioning and engaging in dialog as they unravel and investigate documenta 14 together.

Written by Yannis Zaras

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