Although Olaf Scholz (SPD) “has probably not missed a documenta in the past 30 years,” he will not be traveling to Kassel this time.
The reason for this are the antisemitic images that could be seen on a mural by the Indonesian artist group Taring Padi.
The Federal Chancellor finds “the images in Kassel disgusting and considers it entirely correct and appropriate to remove them from the exhibition”.
In his opinion, »there is no place in Germany for antisemitic depictions, not even at an art exhibition«.
“According to the Federal Chancellor’s conviction, the Documenta management should face up to their responsibility for this process and examine themselves,” said a government spokeperson.
“In the run-up to this renowned exhibition, there were a whole series of warnings – it is all the more irritating that this scandal has nevertheless happened.”
Since the documenta opened, several exhibited pieces have been heavily criticized for using antisemitic motifs.
This applies in particular to the mural “People’s Justice” by the Indonesian artist collective Taring Padi, which was initially covered and finally dismantled.
The mural, which is ten by ten meters in size, shows a figure whose sidelocks clearly identify him as an orthodox Jew. She has an “SS” rune on her hat, blood red eyes and vampire fangs.
Elsewhere, a soldier with a pig’s nose is marching, the helmet says “Mossad” and a Star of David is emblazoned on his collar.
Even before the event, critics attested that the curators of the documenta, the Indonesian group ruangrupa, and several exhibiting artists were close to the antisemitic BDS movement.
The fact that antisemitic works of art could not be excluded from the documenta despite advance warnings was blamed on both the managing director of the documenta, Sabine Schormann, and the Minister of State for Culture, Claudia Roth.