documenta fifteen in renewed anti-Semitism controversy

1 min read

The supervisory board of Germany’s documenta on Friday accused the artistic managers of the documenta fifteen currently running in the western city of Kassel of irresponsibility.

documenta fifteen
Gloria-Kino, Kassel, 2022, Photo: Nicolas Wefers

Artistic freedom was a priority and exclusive artistic responsibility lay with the Indonesian curatorial collective Ruangrupa, the board and partners said in a joint press statement amid long-running controversy over anti-Semitism in the current exhibition.

“But the curators refuse to take on the responsibility connected to this or to engage in self-critical reflection of the events,” they said.

The event has been plagued by allegations for months. Two partners of the show called for pro-Palestinian propaganda films that have been slammed as anti-Semitic to be removed from the exhibition on Tuesday at least until they had been appropriately contextualized.

The partners, the city of Kassel and the state of Hesse backed the demand, while Ruangrupa and the documenta fifteen managers rejected it. Ruangrupa accused the expert forum behind the call of racism and censorship.

“We utterly reject these allegations,” the board and the partners said. They expressed regret that Ruangrupa was insisting on showing the films “without a critical evaluation of the anti-Semitic and violence-glorifying content.”

Visitors to the exhibition needed to have available an evaluation of this kind, they said.

They called on the artistic management to make contextualization visible and reserved the right to provide the information outside the exhibition rooms themselves. © dpa

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