The CEO of the Document of Kassel, Sabine Schormann, stepped downreported this Saturday the supervisory council of the fair, which reacts in this way to the anti-Semitism scandal that has dotted this edition of this appointment with contemporary art.
“The supervisory board, shareholders and CEO Sabine Schormann have mutually agreed to terminate his contract as CEO without much notice. Initially it will look for a interim successor”says the statement.
The decision was made in a meeting held last night “in the context of accusations of antisemitism” against the current edition of the fair and “with a view to the future of Documenta”.
The control body clearly distanced itself from the work that caused the scandal by expressing “its deep dismay” at the fact that on the opening weekend of Documenta “clearly anti-Semitic motifs were seen.”
The work that caused the scandal was Indonesian collective Taring Padiwhose mural entitled “Popular Justice” showed a soldier with a pig’s head, a Star of David and the inscription “Mosad” on his helmet.
It also showed a man with long teeth, curly hair, a hat with the inscription of the Nazi SS and a cigar in the corner of his mouthwhich was reminiscent of anti-Semitic caricatures of Orthodox Jews.
This work was quickly covered up after the Israeli embassy and representatives of German Jewry demanded its removal.
“The presentation of the banner “People’s Justice” by the Taring Padi artist collective, with its anti-Semitic imagery, was a clear violation of the limits and caused considerable damage to Documenta”says the supervisory board, which considers “essential to clarify this incident” as soon as possible.
regrets that “Unfortunately, a lot of confidence has been lost with the placement of the banner and also with the management of the crisis in recent weeks”so it is “essential” that everything possible be done to recover it.
The supervisory board further underlines the “important social task” of “effectively combating anti-Semitism and misanthropy related to certain groups also in art and culture”.
Furthermore, the city of Kassel and the federal state of Hesse declare that they are “united in the common goal of processing errors in anti-Semitism and structural deficits and to do everything possible to guarantee Documenta’s status as a unique contemporary art exhibition in the world in the future”.
In the last weeks Schormann’s resignation had been repeatedly called for.
Recently, the director of the Anne Frank Center, Meron Mendel, stepped down as advisor to Documenta to analyze possible anti-Semitic content in the rest of the fair’s works, accusing Schormann of passivity after the scandal broke.
The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, said for his part that the Documenta had failed when it came to anti-Semitism.
The Documenta shows, in a thirty places in the city and for a hundred days, works by more than 1,500 artists, which should attract a large audience.
(With information from EFE and AFP)
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