Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth regrets that she did not speak out more decisively before the documenta opening, which was marked by allegations of anti-Semitism.
“I’m aware that it’s not enough to say: I couldn’t do more. Even if it’s objectively correct. Maybe I should have been louder and clearer in the discussions leading up to the opening of the documenta,” said the Green politician to the news magazine “Stern” (Thursday edition). Roth called the events in Kassel a “chain of irresponsibility, where in the end no one wants to have been responsible”.
She learned from the process that “I want to have more say as soon as the federal government gives money”. The politician reiterated her recent demands to give the federal government more influence and direct involvement in the structures of the documenta.
“In this art federalism, it is unacceptable that subsidies are sometimes gladly accepted, but concrete participation is rejected. If I’m actually responsible for something, I don’t have a problem with being beaten up when something goes wrong.
Claudia Roth does not want to allow any apology because of origin
Anti-Semitism allegations against the documenta have been circulating for months. Shortly after the opening of the exhibition, a banner with anti-Jewish motifs was discovered and taken down. Roth emphasized that the federal government was not represented in the structures of the documenta and that all relevant decisions for this year’s exhibition had already been made when she took office.
The Minister of State for Culture decisively opposed attempts to relativize anti-Semitic depictions by referring to the countries of origin of the artists. “Anti-Semitism is and will always be anti-Semitism, whether in Indonesia, in Turkey or anywhere else,” said Roth. If foreign artists were invited to a German exhibition, they would have to know “what historical responsibility means here in particular”. (dpa)
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