Documenta art exhibition again accused of anti-Semitism


Central Europe


Photo AFP, Ina Fassbender

Once again, the world art exhibition Documenta in the German city of Kassel is accused of portraying anti-Semitic drawings. This time in a brochure from 1988.

"Documenta can no longer be saved", "Documenta is morally bankrupt" or "Documenta: terror without end". In many German media outlets, op-eds appear again to condemn the art exhibition. After the controversy surrounding a piece of art in June, a visitor to the exhibition noticed anti-Semitic depictions.

The depictions come from a brochure entitled "Presence des Femmes", which was published in Algiers in 1988. The drawings by the Syrian artist Burhan Karkoutly contained in it partly showed anti-Semitic stereotypes and the country of Palestine, provided with classifications that denied the legitimacy of the State of Israel. This reports the German broadcaster <a href=" ZDF." target="_blank">https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/panorama/documenta-antisemitismus-eklat-kassel-100.html).

According to the information, the brochure was issued by the initiative "Archives des luttes des femmes en Algérie" ("Archives of women's struggles in Algeria"). Its goal is to "build a digital and freely accessible archive with documents on feminist collectives and associations in Algeria, especially those that have emerged since the country's independence in 1962," according to the Documenta website.

Scandal continues

With the discovery of the criticized drawings, the anti-Semitism scandal surrounding this year's Documenta continues. Shortly after the opening of the most important exhibition for contemporary art next to the Venice Biennale in mid-June, a work with anti-Semitic imagery was discovered and dismantled. As a result of the scandal, Documenta General Director Sabine Schormann resigned from her position. Alexander Farenholtz was appointed interim managing director.

Farenholtz recently said that the Documenta as an exhibition was on an "excellent course" and emphasized that there would be no examination of the remaining works of art: "Under no circumstances should the impression arise that the scientific support will introduce a control authority," he said in an interview with the German Press Agency.


The Documenta initially did not comment on the renewed allegations on Wednesday. The federal government's anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, told the German daily <a href=" Bild" target="_blank">https://www.bild.de/politik/inland/politik-inland/documenta-skandal-geht-weiter-neue-judenhass-bilder-aufgetaucht-80828150.bild.html) that the failure of those responsible continues. "These hate images show that the new Documenta management has still not drawn the necessary substantive and structural consequences from the previous scandal." Klein demands that all exhibits be viewed and checked for anti-Semitic content.



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