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Documenta: The controversial work of the artist group Taring Padi is completely removed


After criticism of a large poster by the Indonesian collective Taring Padi, it is now being removed from the documenta. Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth welcomes the step and warns of "the clear limits for artistic freedom".

Enlarge image

Detail of the controversial artwork by Taring Padi

Photo: Uwe Zucchi / dpa

"It is long overdue that this mural, which clearly has anti-Semitic elements, is now removed from the Documenta," said Minister of State for Culture Claudia Rothin in a statement.

According to Roth, the mere disguise and the explanation given by the artist collective Taring Padi were absolutely unacceptable.

»Anti-Semitism must have no place at this art exhibition, as in our society in general.

This also applies to racism and any form of misanthropy.

Those are the clear boundaries for artistic freedom.«

On the corresponding work, a 20-year-old large poster, anti-Semitic motifs can be seen among many other emblematic depictions, such as SS runes on the black hat of a man who apparently wears a sidelock, a man with a pig's nose is identified as a member of the Mossad expelled.

It was already covered up yesterday Monday.

After criticism, the Documenta management had the work wrapped up, now it is completely removed from the exhibition.

This should happen on Tuesday, said Kassel's Lord Mayor Christian Geselle (SPD).

In her statement, Claudia Roth called for even more far-reaching consequences: »It must be clarified how this mural with anti-Semitic image elements was installed there in the first place.

I also call on those responsible for documenta and the curators to immediately check and ensure that no other clearly anti-Semitic visual elements are shown at the documenta.«

The controversial work has been on display in public space since Friday evening, in a central location on Friedrichsplatz near the Documenta Hall.

So everyone could see it, although it was only installed on the last of the three so-called preview days, after most of the trade journalists had left.

However, it was already hanging when the Federal President visited parts of the exhibition on Saturday.

In his speech he spoke of the limits of artistic freedom.

The Taring Padi group, founded in 1998, was invited to Kassel to "resurrect Indonesia's protest culture."

According to the Documenta, the name – which translates to “rice fangs” – refers to the sharp tip of a grain of rice.

Life-size puppets and huge banners are intended to convey political messages, among other things, "through distinctive and satirical iconography," often denouncing local grievances.

Agitation is one of the focal points of the work.

The collective has now apologized for “the injuries caused in this context”.

Apparently that wasn't enough to calm things down.

The curators, who also come from Indonesia, have also come under criticism, as well as the management of the Documenta and the Minister of State for Culture, Claudia Roth.

Your authority is one of the main partners of the exhibition.

Another is the Federal Cultural Foundation, which is financed from its budget and also pays for the show.

The Greens politician Roth had given the impression in the past few months that she was keeping an eye on what was happening in Kassel.

The Central Council of Jews had therefore also addressed its concerns about the Documenta to the Minister of State for Culture.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-06-21

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