"70,000 cannabis plants for Kassel" is a project developed by the
Austrian artist Robert Jelinek which comments on current drug policy,
particularly where it concerns cannabis and its possible legalisation.
Documenta XI serves the project as a platform for public discussion.
70,000 cannabis seeds (agricultural hemp) will be sown either in greater
Kassel or Vienna throughout the hundred-day documenta XI. Targeted areas
include city parks, public flower beds, traffic islands, and other green
Planting begins on the day of the official documenta opening and continues
for about ten days. The cannabis plants will reach full maturity in three
months and may then be harvested. The plants are intended for public
The project was developed in reference to Joseph Beuys' "70,000 oaks for
Kassel," a contribution to Documenta 7 (1982), which has become all the
more pertinent as a model for "future installations" situated within
Although policies permitting the legal consumption of cannabis have been
introduced in Holland and Switzerland, countries like Austria, England,
Sweden, and parts of Germany continue to enact more rigorous drug laws
that do not take into account differences between "hard" and "soft" drugs.
As EU statistics (EMCDDA - European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug
Addiction) indicate, cannabis consumers are particularly criminalized.
The sculptural work "70,000 cannabis plants for Kassel" perceives itself
as an artistic contribution toward the deconstruction of an internationally applied "zero tolerance" policy and of the accompanying criminalization of cannabis by the media. It takes a further step toward sensible public dialogue and encouraging greater tolerance.
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Press conference: 8.6.2002
"70,000 cannabis plants for Kassel"
Hotel Heiss, Kassel
cannabis-bag [JPG 388kb ]
streetview [JPG 188kb ]