Document sabotage: a political threat? | – Culture

Status: 02.06.2022 5:16 PM

Documenta 15 is located in the starting blocks. But it has been under fire for months over allegations of anti-Semitism against the mass show “The Funding Question”. Now the house where the group set is supposed to be shown has been broken into.

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by Claudia Kristofferson

It is supposed to start in Kassel in two weeks: the world’s largest gallery of contemporary art, Document Fifteen, is in its beginning stages and will open on June 18. But it crushes in packages. Now it became known that a showroom was broken into. what happened?

The burglary occurred on the night of May 27 to 28. The crime scene is Werner-Hilpert-Strasse 22 in Kassel. Among other things, the issue of crowdfunding in this house will be featured in Documenta. On the walls found graffiti: “187 Peralta”.

Vandalism: a law for murder and right-wing extremism?

Number 187 can be read as a reference to California Penal Code Section 187, which deals with murder. Especially in rap culture, this number is known as an icon. “PERALTA” can also be read as a kind of code: it is a reference to the name of Isabel Peralta, the leader of a far-right youth organization in Spain. There are currently a lot of assumptions, questions, and conditional moods.

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Claudia Kristofferson © NDR Photo: Christian Spellmann

Columnist Claudia Kristofferson believes that never before in the history of the documentary has the atmosphere before the opening been so low. more

Documenta files a criminal complaint

Castle reacted with great annoyance. The document filed a criminal complaint. The police are investigating in all directions, and the security authorities have been called. In addition, the security concept of the document will be revised after this incident and the number of security personnel will be increased. Mayor Christian Gesell is also disturbed and the reaction is very clear: “Having discussions on Document Fifteen is one thing, and the desire to intimidate artists with criminal offenses far exceeds what is acceptable.”

Allegations of anti-Semitism against the “funding issue”

In the lead up to the document, there was a lot of discussion. At the core of the debate are accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against the collective “funding issue,” which is said to have close ties to the BDS movement, which is critical of Israel. One artist in the group specifically criticized Israel as a colonial power. The accusation: Ruangrupa, the Indonesian curators of Documenta 15, either did not pay attention when selecting the artists or the document wanted to make the BDS movement “socially acceptable”. The document defends itself against this. But the accusation stands.

Document: New dimensions of turmoil

Germany’s Central Council of Jews had already taken part in January, Secretary of State for Culture Claudia Roth spoke. But the debate has not subsided so far. At the beginning of May, the allegations were scheduled to be discussed in a discussion thread, but the discussion was called off shortly before that. “Exposed,” the document claims.

The speeches likely made a lot of sense beforehand, especially since the series would have featured first-rate actors (along with historians, sociologists, and anti-Semitic scholars). Document galleries have always caused upheaval in the lead-up to this, and especially after that, because the trend was found strange and the art did not approve of it. This is as it should be. Art should excite, provoke. But: months before the excitement – and now also damages, property damage – this is new in that dimension.

One of the first works on the cityscape, black pillars with drawings by Roman artist Dan Bergovci, can be seen at the main entrance to the site Documenta Fridericianum.  © Swen Pförtner / dpa - Photo: Swen Pförtner

My voice: Document 15 preparations in full swing (3 minutes)

Documenta: Kassel faces a huge challenge

So the document is a big problem even before it starts. How will this evolve from June 18? Meanwhile, the show had a strong, political focus. It is about deep questions. For example: Are Israeli artists no longer invited? Can and should one make historical comparisons: the Holocaust, the Holocaust? Issues such as colonialism and racism. These are all very basic and complex questions that appear in a variety of places, which can be observed and discussed for a long time.

It’s a huge challenge, a big task that Castle has now set for himself. It would have been nice to discuss all of this beforehand in a series of events – perhaps to clarify a little in order to unravel this very dangerous and intertwined situation.

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Fred Raccoon (left) and Uday Darmawan will direct Documenta 15. © picture alliance / Uwe Zucchi / dpa Photo: Uwe Zucchi

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Photo by Sabine Schuurmann.  © Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung / Krückeberg / dpa-Bildfunk

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Poster of the Fifteenth Document in Kassel © picture alliance / dpa |  Uwe Zucchi Photo: Uwe Zucchi

The fifteenth documentary opened in Kassel in June, and Göttingen is now a partner city. A dream come true by Gerhard Stedel. more

Dr Sabine Schurmann, Director General of Documentation and Museum Fridericianum gGmbH © Harry Soremski

General Director of the Kassel International Art Fair talks about the concept, art and artists of Document 15. More

Daniela Vitryab (lr), Iswanto Hartono (both from collective artist Ruangrupa), Stefan Marx (street newspaper seller)

Journalist Sebastian Frenzel ranks the selection of artist collective Ruangrupa, who sponsors the document. more

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Culture NDR | Classic on the go | 02/06/2022 | 2:20 pm

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