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“The documenta must remain courageous”: New Documenta managing director wants to work up the anti-Semitism scandal

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The new managing director of the documenta in Kassel, Andreas Hoffmann, has commented on the future of the world art exhibition. The scandal surrounding anti-Semitic motifs that were shown at the most recent edition of the documenta had to be dealt with.

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Hoffmann demanded this in the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (Tuesday). “The freedom of art and the high sensitivity to misanthropy of all kinds cannot be set against each other, but they equally represent central basic values ​​of our society.”

According to Hoffmann, art must be able to provoke and ask questions

At the same time, the art manager emphasized: “The documenta must remain courageous.” Contemporary art must “be able to provoke and ask questions. That’s why this debate is so important. This is a fundamental issue in our society.”

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The documenta fiteen was “a strong source of inspiration,” added Hoffmann, who will be the new managing director of the world art exhibition from May. “There are currently many discussions going on about new forms of collective leadership in cultural institutions. This applies, for example, to overcoming the image of the brilliant individual artist,” he explained. “Cultural institutions are currently very interested in this.”

I found the idea of ​​sharing resources very strong in its visionary power.

Andreas Hoffman

Hoffmann added that the past show “jammed” him. “I was fascinated by your very far-reaching perspective on topics such as collectivity, solidarity and participation as well as sustainability. I found the idea of ​​sharing resources very strong in its visionary power.”

The next documenta is scheduled to take place in Kassel from June 12 to September 19, 2027. The presentation of the banner “People’s Justice” by the Indonesian artist collective Taring Padi with anti-Semitic depictions caused a scandal at documenta fifteen last summer. After that, pictures criticized as anti-Semitic were found; including anti-Jewish stereotypes in drawings in the brochure “Presence des Femmes”.

Hoffmann, born in 1971, has been the managing director of the Bucerius Kunst Forum in Hamburg since 2007. Until 2019 he was also program manager for art and culture for the music and monument projects of the “Zeit” Foundation Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius. Since 2011 he has been teaching at the Institute for Culture and Media Management at the University of Music and Theater in Hamburg, since 2016 as an honorary professor. (KNA)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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