In 2007 I was living in Sydney, terminally, determinedly single, working at the University of New South Wales and in desperate need of inspiration.
And so I went on a pilgrimage to Germany, to Documenta, the five-yearly international contemporary art survey that began in 1952 amid the social, political and historical carnage of WW2 as an attempt to reconnect with the lost ideals of the enlightenment.
Enlightenment was what I was after. It wasn't what I got. I hated Documenta 12. It was obtuse, smug, difficult, glib and frankly, bloody hard work. My most distilled moment of the three days I spent in Kassel (which is a shit-house city by the way - bombed to bits and rebuilt with zero thought for charm) was sitting at a tram stop, in the sunshine and having a curiously calm, philosophical conversation in my head about WHY it was that I had decided to dedicate my career to contemporary art and WHY was it again that I thought art was important and WHAT the fuck am I doing if this is the measure of contemporary art today.
That sort of thing.