Researchers set to analyse anti-Semitism debate over German art show – documenta fifteen

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Veiled painting by the Indonesian collective ‘Taring Pad’ on the ‘documenta fifteen’ on Friedrichsplatz Kassel, in front of it are damaged and destroyed works of the work of art ‘A thousand carpet Pappe’ by the same collective from Yogyakarta/Indonesia, June 21, 2022, Kassel/Hesse/Germany. Credit line: Profimedia

The furore over anti-Semitism that has raged at this year’s documenta fifteen art exhibition in Germany is to be investigated in a research project, the Frankfurt-based Anne Frank Educational Centre said on Monday.

The art show in the city of Kassel, which alongside the Venice Biennale is the most important exhibition for contemporary art in the world, has been overshadowed by accusations that the show includes pieces with clear anti-Semitic symbols and motifs.

Soon after the opening in mid-June, a large work with anti-Semitic images was dismantled. Other works were also found to contain anti-Jewish stereotypes.

Critics and curators failing to settle on a satisfactory shared approach amid the ensuing controversy.

“Over recent months we have seen how deadlocked this debate is. Through this study, we intend to analyse the background to this polarization, the basic conflicts that arise in it and how the organizers of international art and cultural festivals could react to conflicts of this kind in the future,” Meron Mendel, the centre’s director, said.

The project will draw in the centre itself, along with the documenta Institute and Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and will be led by Mendel and Heinz Bude, a sociologist and founding director of the documenta Institute.

It will survey and observe visitors to the show along with those involved and analyse the public discourse and is to run up to the end of 2023. © dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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