Sabine Schormann, general director of documenta fifteen and the Museum Fridericianum, speaks during an interview. Via Reuters

documenta chief quits amid anti-Semitism allegations (2022)

Sabina Schormann has stepped down from the Kassel-based documenta show. Its board will initially look for an interim successor, it said in a statement.

1 min read

The general director of documenta that was accused of allowing anti-Semitic displays resigned on Saturday.

The decision follows an outcry about anti-Semitic imagery in a large artwork by an Indonesian collective which had to be taken down just days after the world art exhibition in the central German city had begun in June.

There had already been accusations of anti-Semitism against Indonesia’s Ruangrupa collective, which includes the art group Taring Padi, for many months. Schormann was accused of inactivity.

“The presentation of the banner “People’s Justice” by the artist collective Taring Padi with its anti-Semitic imagery was a clear transgression of boundaries and documenta was thus significantly damaged,” the board said.

The board includes Kassel Mayor Christian Geselle and his deputy, Hesse state Arts Minister Angela Dorn.

An artwork by Indonesian artist collective Taring Padi is being covered up at the Documenta fifteen art exhibition after a simmering row over anti-Semitism escalated days after the exhibition’s opening. © Reuters

In recent weeks, there have been repeated calls for the 60-year-old Schormann to quit.

The head of the Anne Frank Educational Centre, Meron Mendel, withdrew as an adviser to documenta and Hito Steyerl, a top international artist, declared she would withdraw her works from the exhibition.

Schormann had moved to Kassel as general director in 2018 following another scandal at the non-profit regarding a large financial deficit.

It resulted in art historian Annette Kulenkampf resigning from her post as director.

(16/07/2022 dpa via Reuters)

Join Our Mailing List

[contact-form-7 id="9206" title="Sidebar Newsletter"]