Another anti-Semitic content sparked outrage at the Documenta in Kassel, one of the world’s most important contemporary art fairs, whose director resigned ten days ago over a previous similar scandal.
A visitor discovered this week that an exhibition of Algerian women’s struggle included a brochure from Algeria from 1988, the pages of which contain anti-Semitic stereotypes that question the right of the State of Israel to exist.
Jewish institutions and organizations have strongly condemned the new anti-Semitic caricatures, and politicians from all parties are demanding a review of the entire exhibition material for the massive fine art exhibition. According to Frank Mueller Rosentrett, a liberal FDP politician, all federal financial support must be withdrawn from the event for that to happen. The organizers are ashamed of this.
Bijan Gir Saray, General Secretary of the Free Democratic Party, suggested closing the exhibition until allegations of anti-Semitism are clarified. One Green Party politician believes the fair’s organizers do not take anti-Semitism seriously, and may even “tolerate it”.
The president of the Anne Frank Education Center, Myron Mendel, expressed his astonishment and described her especially as surprised when A visitor had already expressed concerns about the details of the exhibition at the Fredericianum Museum weeks ago, and was not even informed of the visitor’s comment, despite being an exhibition advisor, Instead, and based on a legal opinion, they decided to continue listing the work of Syrian artist Burhan Karkotli.
German news agency (dpa) reported that a new committee is being formed to deal with the issue of anti-Semitism at the fair. Mendel asked the curators to remove all controversial works until they had discussed their fate with experts.
A few days after the opening, organizers covered up a work of art and later removed it from the prestigious art gallery, sparking outrage with its anti-Semitic detail. The group of artists, management and the art director jointly decided to cover up work created by Indonesian collective artist Tring Padi, after several people demanded that the large banner be removed. Among other things, the photo shows a pig-faced soldier wearing a sash decorated with the Star of David and a helmet emblazoned with the name of Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad.
Even during preparations for the exhibition, the organizers have accused anti-Semitism, as they have also invited artists who support the cultural boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.
Due to criticism, General Manager Sabine Schuurmann was forced to leave her post on July 16.
Alongside the Venice Biennale, the Documenta is one of the world’s most important contemporary art galleries. Held in Kassel every five years, the fair opened for the 15th time this year and can be visited until September 25.