The entire documenta search committee resigned
The documenta fifteen was overshadowed by an anti-Semitism scandal, and now, after renewed allegations, there is a hail of resignations in the search committee for the artistic direction. The process needs to be restarted.
Kassel. After a discussion about allegations of anti-Semitism, all six members of the search committee for the artistic direction of the documenta world art exhibition in Kassel have resigned. The four remaining members announced their resignation on Thursday, documenta announced in the evening. The search committee should propose a curator or collective for the upcoming edition in 2027 by the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024. Now the search process is to be completely restarted.
First, the Indian writer and curator Ranjit Hoskoté resigned from the commission, as documenta announced on Monday. The Israeli artist Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger also resigned from her position – apparently because of the current situation in the Middle East.
Hoskoté came under criticism, because he had signed a petition titled “BDS India” in 2019. BDS stands for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”. The campaign calls for a boycott of the State of Israel and Israeli products because of its actions against Palestinians. Hoskoté had made it clear that he rejected the goals of the BDS, documenta said. Due to the “expectation of an unmistakable distancing” he then announced his resignation.
“An extremely difficult decision to make”
The commission’s work process has come under increasing pressure under the impact of the Hamas terrorist attacks, increasing anti-Semitism in Germany and the polarized debates surrounding it, documenta announced on Thursday. After the first two resignations, it was considered to continue with the remaining members of the commission, to increase the size of the commission, to suspend the work or to relaunch it completely. In “an extremely difficult decision-making process,” the four remaining members decided that they no longer wanted to participate.
Documenta Fifteen had already been overshadowed by an anti-Semitism scandal. The show is considered, alongside the Venice Biennale, to be the most important exhibition for contemporary art.