After allegations of anti-Semitism: Documenta should not be canceled

The outrage surrounding individual works at the Documenta in Kassel never ends.

After allegations of anti-Semitism: Documenta should not be canceled

The outrage surrounding individual works at the Documenta in Kassel never ends. Anti-Semitic drawings are discovered again. However, the interim managing director does not want to cancel the exhibition. He also rejects a general examination of the works.

After the recent allegations of anti-Semitism against the documenta in Kassel, stopping the exhibition is not an option for interim managing director Alexander Farenholtz. "I don't have the feeling that the atmosphere at the Documenta reflects such demands," he said in Kassel. "And that's definitely not the mood that prevails in the artistic direction and in me."

The 68-year-old also continues to reject a systematic examination of all remaining works. "There is no general suspicion against the Documenta and therefore no reason for a general examination." The artistic direction is preparing a text as an explanation for the depictions now being criticized, which will be added to the exhibition. "A removal of the drawings is not indicated," emphasized Farenholtz.

Corresponding demands had been raised in the past few days after works with anti-Semitic imagery had again been discovered at the exhibition. Shortly after the opening of the Documenta in mid-June, a banner with anti-Jewish motifs was discovered and taken down.

Since January there have been voices accusing the Indonesian curator collective Ruangrupa and some invited artists of being close to the anti-Israel boycott movement BDS. The situation is also stressful for Ruangrupa, said Farenholtz. He rejected criticism of the curatorial collective's lack of communication. "It is not correct to draw conclusions about a lack of willingness from this." The members of the group are very accessible and approachable, especially on site in Kassel and in the exhibition they are very present. "Ruangrupa shows its willingness to engage in dialogue on an equal footing."

All those involved are open to the scientific monitoring of the Documenta by external experts announced by the shareholders - the city of Kassel and the state of Hesse. "I would like to do everything to support this body in its work," emphasized Farenholtz.

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