At the end of documenta fifteen in Kassel, the International Auschwitz Committee issued a miserable report to the world art show. "The documenta is in a shambles, but a new world can also be put together from shards," said the Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, Christoph Heubner, according to a statement.
"At the end of documenta fifteen, the defiant insistence of many of those responsible and the retreat behind the walls of their own arrogance has become the sad reality of this art festival."
After 100 days, documenta fifteen ends this Sunday. The most important exhibition for contemporary art after the Venice Biennale was overshadowed by repeated accusations of anti-Semitism before and during its run.
Shortly after the opening of the show, a work with anti-Semitic imagery was discovered. The "People's Justice" banner by Indonesian art collective Taring Padi was then taken down. Even after that, works with anti-Jewish stereotypes were discovered.
Heubner complained that the repeatedly staged criticism of the existence of the State of Israel was "deep in the well-known swamp of anti-Semitic prejudices" and never understood that people were also being hurt, defamed and marginalized here who had done this to the bitter end in their family history should have experienced.
"The fact that this anti-Semitic connotation was possible in Germany and at Documenta fifteen for more than 100 days, despite growing criticism and opportunities for discussion, will remain the lasting flaw of this project, which marks a turning point in Germany and exposes many political statements as lip service."
According to the announcement, Heubner said that politics and society in Germany would have to start a conversation about this turning point and the debates that erupted from Documenta fifteen and that the realities of anti-Semitism and Israel hatred in the international context would have to be reassessed. The Documenta must develop a concept that takes one's own responsibility seriously and enables new, provocative perspectives on the disturbing reality of our world.