21.06.2022, Hessen, Kassel: Das umstrittene und verhüllte Großbanner ·People's Justice· des indonesischen Künstlerkollektivs Taring Padi auf dem Friedrichsplatz. Die heftig kritisierte Installation auf der documenta fifteen in Kassel wurde erst verhüllt und sollte noch am Dienstagabend abgebaut werden. Foto: Uwe Zucchi/dpa - ACHTUNG: Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung im Zusammenhang mit einer Berichterstattung über die documenta 15 und nur mit vollständiger Nennung des vorstehenden Credits +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

After Olaf Scholz declared that he would not be coming to documenta fifteen, Kassel’s Lord Mayor Christian Geselle wrote a letter to the Federal Chancellor (both SPD). The Mayor considers Scholz’ cancellation to be inappropriate, since the documenta “is placed under general suspicion,” the “Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine” quoted a city hall spokesman as saying. Further details about the letter were not known on Friday, the contents are not public, said the spokesman for the German Press Agency.

A visit by the Federal Chancellor is not a fixed part of the documenta program. With a view to the anti-Semitism scandal at the documenta, Scholz had declared that he would not be visiting the world art exhibition. Scholz described the subject of the scandal, a work of art by the Indonesian artist collective Taring Padi, as “disgusting” through a spokeswoman. The work “People’s Justice” had caused a wave of outrage because of anti-Semitic imagery, and the banner was removed on Tuesday evening.

The city spokesman also stated that no supervisory board meeting is currently planned. At the meetings of the committee, which includes representatives of the shareholders City of Kassel and State of Hesse, possible structural or personnel changes are usually discussed. Most recently, there were calls for the resignation of the general director of documenta fifteen, Sabine Schormann, who is sticking to her position.

The day before, Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth (Greens) had called for consequences for the structure of the art exhibition and presented a corresponding plan. In essence, it is about the fact that the federal government wants more influence on the documenta. Those responsible would have to ensure promptly “that no further anti-Semitic works are exhibited at the documenta”.