Was the first documenta really beyond nationalism? documenta 1955 has been widely regarded as conciliation for the fascist legacy of the exhibition “Degenerate Art” (1937), and as an attempt to reintegrate Germany into the international arts community. This article employs published and archival sources in order to understand if and how documenta was impacted by the legacy of nationalism in post-fascist Germany. A biographic sketch of Antonio Corpora (1909-2004) shows how the purportedly “universalist” selection criteria employed by documenta erased cultural specificity and solidified nationalist conceptions of center and periphery.



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