I am a descendant of ROBERTO (Axis Roma-Berlin-Tokyo) . documenta15 should be closed down. Because there’s no weed. (lol) 私はROBERTO（枢軸国 ローマ・ベルリン・東京）の子孫である。ドクメンタ15は閉鎖されるべき。大麻草ないから。(笑）
documenta fifteen @ Kassel 2022/6/18 – 9/25
Lack of contextualisation and lack of will to search for anti-Semitic works in the documenta15 by the organisers / supervisory board / ruangrupa (= Indonesian collective from Jakarta and “Artistic Direction” of documenta15) / lumbung community makes me, unfortunately, part of the “cancel culture”. What a disastrous situation for a Japanese artist, who’s fighting for free artistic expression in Japan! But… I have to set a sign! Anti-Semitism as artistic practice for me is not acceptable!
On July 8th, artist colleague Hito Steyerl, definitely the most vocal of documenta15’s contributors, pulled out amid mounting anti-Semitic scandals. “I don’t believe in the organisation’s ability to mediate and translate complexity,” Steyerl wrote in an open letter, referring to “the repeated failure to promote a sustainable and structurally anchored inclusive debate around the exhibition, as well as a de facto refusal to accept mediation.”
Steyerl’s departure followed Meron Mendel, director of the Anne Frank Educational Institution in Frankfurt, who resigned as documenta15 consultant.
Therefore, after visiting Kassel this week and checking the venues with my own eyes, I came to the sad conclusion: documenta15 should be closed down.
Where should artistic practice encounter its limits, right? You may already know the answers: Call for genocide, murder, injury etc., or, slander, ch*ld p**n, anti-semitism, racism, xenophobia etc….
Before I focus on my visit to documenta15, let me introduce you to several disturbing art practices by Japanese artists.
The case of IDA Yukimasa 井田幸昌, who sold the following work, executed 4 months ago, at the Art Basel booth of Mariane Ibrahim.
IDA Yukimasa painted a portrait of Adolf Hitler, which sold for 120.000 US$, for the Right-Wing. FUCK YOU.
The case of art worker Ellie (Chim↑Pom) チン↑ポム エリイ and her practice 3 months ago. Ellie with extreme right wing politician and former PM, ABE Shinzo (LDP) at the entrance of Chim↑Pom’s Mori Art Museum show. ABE Shinzo has been assassinated on 8th of July 2022, in Nara, Japan.
六本木の日本社会のディストピア・シナリオ：「セックスワーカー」ブブ・ド・ラ・マドレーヌ (@Ota Fine Arts) と「アートワーカー」チン↑ポム エリイ (@森美術館)
Japan’s Society – Dystopian Scenario in Roppongi: “Sex Worker” BuBu de la Madelaine (@ Ota Fine Arts) And “Art Worker” Chim↑Pom Ellie (@ Mori Art Museum)
The case of painter Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita レオナール・嗣治・フジタ, who was a war criminal and openly an anti-Semite.
新作 「ロベール・デスノス、藤田嗣治、藤田ユキ、藤田君代。レジスタンス 対 戦争犯罪人。」
New Work “Robert Desnos, Tsuguharu Foujita, Youki Foujita, Kimiyo Foujita. Résistance vs War Criminal.”
亜 真里男 「ロベール・デスノス、藤田嗣治、藤田ユキ、藤田君代。レジスタンス 対 戦争犯罪人。」2018年10月、mixed media on canvas、123 x 100 cm
Mario A “Robert Desnos, Tsuguharu Foujita, Youki Foujita, Kimiyo Foujita. Résistance vs War Criminal.” October 2018, mixed media on canvas, 123 x 100 cm
Or the case of SHIGENOBU Fusako 重信 房子, co-founder of the terrorist “Japanese Red Army” organisation. At the Lod Airport massacre, 26 people had been killed and 80 injured. Three airplanes had been hijacked. She was an anti-Semite and partly “respected” in Japan.
What is this Japanese Woman thinking, actually? さて。
قناة الجزيرة مباشر – Aljazeera Mubasher
20 hours ago
بعد 20 عامًا في سجون #اليابان.. الإفراج عن “فوساكا شيغينوبو” الملقبة بـ”مريم” مؤسّسة الجيش الأحمر الياباني الذي قاتل مع الجبهة الشعبية والثورة الفلسطينية
After 20 years in #Japan prisons.. The release of Fosaka Shiginobu aka Maryam the founder of the Japanese Red Army who fought with the People’s Front and the Palestinian Revolution
May 28 at 12:41 PM ·
The Japanese freedom fighter for Palestine, Fusako Shigenobu, has finally breathed freedom today after 22 years in a Japanese prison ✊🏼🇵🇸 She is now 76 years old and suffers from cancer.
Fusako once had another name. She was also known as Mariam during the 30 years she had spent in Lebanon fighting for the Palestinian cause after she founded the Japanese Red Army back in 1971. Only 26 years of age back then, justice was what she sought by every possible means, and the Liberation of Palestine from the terrorist Israeli occupation was her ultimate aim. She struggled against US imperialism and crimes around the world as well.
One of her comrades, Kozo Okamoto, was injured and arrested by Israeli forces in 1972 where he was tortured mercilessly that he spent the ramaining years of his detention suffering severe mental disorders. He was later released in a prisoner exchange between the Palestinian re sis tance and the Israeli occupation in 1985.
In the year 2000, Fusako “Mariam” was arrested in Japan following her return. She was later sentenced to 20 years in prison accused of taking part in a siege on the French embassy in the Netherlands where hostages were held demanding the French government to release a prisoner they had from the Japanese Red Army. In her trial she bravely said, “I will fight on!” Fusako has a single daughter to a Palestinian father named Mai.
Today, wearing a Palestinian Kufiyah and welcomed by her daughter Mai and many others, Fusako finally walked out free✌🏼🇵🇸🇯🇵
As you might know, my education background is West-Berlin from the 70+80’s, women’s lib, feminism, gender studies, anthropology, contemporary art and the sex revolution.
The Green Party and healthy bio food formed my political consciousness.
40 years ago.
My Japan, in this regard, remains a conservative nation, full of contradictions and irrational behaviour.
“Reiwa” is the current era of Japan’s official calendar, directly related to the Japanese Emperor 天皇 (Emperor of God) and The Emperor System of Japan 天皇制.
The Showa-Tenno 昭和天皇 was a war criminal.
Let me take this opportunity to introduce to you further articles in the context of the Japanese Imperial Family and The Emperor System of Japan.
角川春樹 ＆ 武蔵野坐令和神社 ＆ 角川武蔵野ミュージアム
KADOKAWA Haruki & REIWA JINJA & Kadokawa Culture Museum
A highly sensitive topic in Japan, in which you, as a foreigner, will mostly get ambiguous answers and explanations. Most Japanese “obey” the rules of 神道 SHINTO-ism and 仏教 Buddhism. Weddings are being normally held with キリスト教 Christian and SHINTO-ist ceremonies at the same time. Ergo, Japanese people actually practice three religious customs. 神道+仏教+キリスト教 SHINTO+BUDDHISM+CHRISTIANITY run parallel to their vita. Be extremely careful, if you want to discuss these topics with anyone in Japan. Let’s put it in a humble way: no logical debate possible. A serious matter, indeed.
Most people won’t admit that they are “guided” by religious beliefs. Even if you don’t agree with my opinion, may you try to analyse why women “transform” more easily in becoming so-called “spiritual seekers” than men. The reasons may be multicausal. At the end, the “power” of a religion influences global politics. In India, in the U.S., in Thailand, in Russia, in Egypt or in Indonesia, where the curatorial team of the documenta15, ruangrupa, has its roots.
Myself travelled for one month in Indonesia as a backpacker, coming from Singapore and later “jumping” the short distance towards Darwin, Australia.
About 88% of Indonesia’s population of 270 million are Muslim. The country does NOT recognise Israel, has NO formal diplomatic ties with Israel. Why do YOU think, does this situation still exist in 2022 ?
Let’s get back to my beloved Asian country, Japan.
Tokyo became my “studio”, my “stage” of artistic practice. I love Tokyo. May you allow me to attach a typical picture of mine, taken before Corona in the gallery Aoyama Meguro (solo show: Mario A “The situation is under control”).
In the context of the anti-Semitism at documenta15 I should first show you details of my body of work “ROBERTO”, which had been partly exhibited in 2004 at the MIZUMA ART GALLERY ミヅマアートギャラリー, see the cover pic.
I repeat. If in 2022, the young Japanese artist IDA Yukimasa 井田幸昌 paints Hitler, or my former girlfriend Ellie shows up with extreme right wing former PM Abe…, I have to respond. That’s my duty as a well-known, influential artist of Japan.
For me, everything comes naturally, in a personal context… my German grandfather fought in Stalingrad, returning in 1947, my German father was in the Hitlerjugend, my Italian grandfather remained until his death a fascist who adored Mussolini. The father of my first Japanese wife fought in Nanjing/Nanking 南京市 and met every year his former comrades in the “extreme right-wing” Yasukuni Shrine 靖国神社, located in central Tokyo.
Check my publisher or amazon:
“Mario A The Japanese Artist”, Ronsosha Publishing House, Tokyo, 2004
Text by art critic:
ICHIHARA Kentaro “Mario A An Artist of Japan as an Eternal Revolutionary”
In 2003 the “Geneva Initiative” had been given way to constructive talks towards a peaceful settlements regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Let me quote from Wikipedia:
“The Geneva Initiative, also known as the Geneva Accord, is a draft Permanent Status Agreement to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, based on previous official negotiations, international resolutions, the Quartet Roadmap, the Clinton Parameters, and the Arab Peace Initiative. The document was finished on 12 October 2003. On 25 January 2022, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) announced it would gradually withdraw its financial support for the Geneva Initiative, effectively ending it by 2023.
Now let’s get focused on the anti-Semitic scandals during this documenta15.
As you know, in 1994 the Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Yasser Arafat.
The common sense approach would be: o.k., now it’s your turn, politicians, to continue this long-awaited peace process, see the ‘Geneva Initiative’.
In the meantime I posted two new entries regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
Symbol of Palestinian-Israeli Friendship: Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
反ユダヤ主義や「ドクメンタ15」という文脈で：昨日のメロン・メンデル氏 (フランクフルトのアンネ・フランク教育センター所長) のクネセト選挙に関する記事
In the Context of Antisemitism and documenta15: Yesterday’s Article by Meron Mendel (Director of the Anne Frank Educational Center in Frankfurt) regarding the Knesset Election
(end of up-date)
Let me also quote German Green Party Deputy Chancellor Robert Habeck from last month the 8th. (2022/6/8)
“Jerusalem – Ramallah, that’s only a 30 minute drive. Nevertheless, Israel and the Palestinian territories are worlds apart.
The rifts are as deep as the desire for security, for normality, which is palpable everywhere here – just as much as people’s frustration and disappointment that nothing ever seems to change. I understand the pain on both sides. And it is clear that a fundamental political solution is needed. But that still seems far away.
But perhaps we can succeed in working together on concrete projects. One example of this path, which is talked about a lot here, is the ‘Green Blue Deal for the Middle East’ by the NGO #EcoPeace. EcoPeace is already special: the only environmental organization in which 🇵🇸+🇯🇴+🇮🇱 work together. Their project: to build a solar plant in Jordan, the electricity from which will then be used to desalinate water in Israel and distribute it in the region. The idea: to include the Palestinians, or the Gaza Strip, in this regional water-energy community.
If that works, it could build trust. And be an impulse for cooperation instead of confrontation. I have pledged my support to help make that happen.”
German Green Party Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck visited Palestine today
Documenta15 takes place in Germany. The official German approach by Green Party Deputy Chancellor Habeck has to be understood in the context of the Shoah/Holocaust. Adolf Hitler and the Germans.
Therefore, this kind of peace effort, creating cultural bridges, should be the task of the curatorial team ruangrupa, coming from islamic Indonesia, too!
Fact is, amongst the 1500 artists, no Israelis had been invited. Some doubts had been cast upon the authenticity of documenta15’s slogan “make friends not art” as practicing Palestinian-Israeli collectives/artists’ groups/community members couldn’t participate.
Documenta 15 Opens With a Record 1,500 Artists, Promising to Be Unlike Any Edition That Came Before It
The press conference included a karaoke session.
Kate Brown, June 15, 2022
PALESTINIAN- ISRAELI ART & DIALOGUE
Fact is, anti-Semitic works had been exhibited.
Fact is, no efforts had been made by the curatorial team ruangrupa to search for further anti-semitic works.
Fact is, no public debate, together with ruangrupa!!, concerning the anti-Semitic works occurred until today.
Fact is, even for the Japanese visitor, the film footage “Tokyo Reels”, coming from ADACHI Masao 足立正生, whom I know personally, remains highly controversial.
“Tokyo Reels” should have been properly contextualised, explained. At least publicly discussed with ADACHI Masao and ruangrupa!
Stars of Orion: Japanese Martyrs for Palestine 2012
A Panel Convened to Address Antisemitism at Documenta Called for Action on Yet Another ‘Problematic’ Artwork. The Show’s Artists Claim It’s Censorship
“We are angry, we are sad, we are tired, we are united,” the curators wrote in an open letter.
Taylor Dafoe, September 12, 2022
After months of heated allegations of antisemitism leveled at Documenta and the curatorial team behind its 2022 show, the exhibition’s shareholders and supervisory board convened a “scientific advisory panel” last month to look into the issues and make recommendations. Now the committee has released its initial findings—and they’ve stirred up fresh controversy.
In a press release last weekend, the panel recommended “immediate action” be taken to address Tokyo Reels Film Festival, a video work made by the collective Subversive Film that comprises clips of pro-Palestinian propaganda from the 1960s to 1980s.
Calling it “highly problematic,” the panel said the film is “filled with antisemitic and anti-Zionist set pieces” that are presented as objective fact. The artists’ “uncritical discussion” glorifies the “terrorism of the source material,” the committee argued.
In response to the panel’s assessment, ruangrupa, the Indonesia collective that curated this year’s exhibition and 65 signatories issued a fiery open letter addressed to Documenta’s board and shareholders, which include the city of Kassel and the German state of Hesse.
“We are angry, we are sad, we are tired, we are united,” begins the letter, which came out today. “This report represents a new line crossed, and we categorically refuse it: This line marks a racist drift in a pernicious structure of censorship.”
“Because we stand by our rejection of censorship,” the authors continue, “we vigorously opposed the creation of this scientific advisory panel. We do not accept the allegations of their preliminary report, which unashamedly reproduce poorly researched claims from the media; likewise, the report lacks scientific proof, academic references, rigorous argumentation, and integrity.”
Formed in 2011 and based in Ramallah and Brussels, Subversive Film is known for collecting and re-presenting historic material related to Palestine.
The group’s Tokyo Reels Film Festival is described by Documenta as a “cinematic program [curated] around the screening of a recently restored film” that sheds light on the “overlooked and still undocumented anti-imperialist solidarity between Japan and Palestine.” In the film, Israel is referred to as “fascist” and accused of “genocide.” The program features footage thought to be lost until recently, which had been amassed by Masao Adachi, an experimental director and former member of the Japanese Red Army who resided for many years in Lebanon.
The Japanese Red Army was a militant communist organization active from 1971 to 2001. Three members of the group were also responsible for the Lod Airport massacre outside of Tel Aviv, a terrorist attack in 1972 that killed 26 people.
Representatives from Documenta did not immediately respond to a request for comment on ruangrupa’s letter.
(end of up-date)
Read the following review, published in the left-wing German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Hinter den Propaganda-Filmen in Kassel steht ein Ex-Terrorist und RAF-Freund
20. Juni 2022
Auf der Documenta verbreitet eine Künstlergruppe pro-palästinensische Propagandafilme aus den Siebzigern. Den Anstoß für ihr Projekt gab ein japanischer RAF-Freund und früherer Kader einer antiisraelischen Terrororganisation.
Von Kia Vahland
Denn die Kommentierung bleibt minimal. Es geht den Documenta-Teilnehmern offensichtlich nicht darum, die Propaganda zu entlarven und Möchtegern-Revoluzzern in den Industrieländern den Spiegel vorzuhalten, wie sie schon vor einem halben Jahrhundert ihre Wünsche nach erhabener Ursprünglichkeit auf die Palästinenser projiziert und dabei Ressentiments geschürt und Terror gegen Israel in Kauf genommen haben. Das wäre ein aufklärerisches Projekt gewesen. Es hätte zu einem wirklichen Dialog führen können mit den Documenta-Gästen aus Europa. Und zu einem Nachdenken über deren eigene, lange gewachsene ideologische Verstrickungen im Nahostkonflikt.
Das aber wurde verpasst. Und da fragt sich dann doch, ob das Oberkollektiv Ruangrupa kuratiert, also die Arbeiten mit ausgewählt und begleitet hat. Wenn ja, haben sie diese Propaganda so gewollt. Und wenn nein: ist es ohnehin ein Fehler.
An ex-terrorist and RAF friend is behind the propaganda films in Kassel
20 June 2022
At Documenta, a group of artists is distributing pro-Palestinian propaganda films from the seventies. The impetus for their project came from a Japanese RAF friend and former cadre of an anti-Israeli terrorist organisation.
By Kia Vahland
The commentary remains minimal. The Documenta participants are obviously not concerned with exposing propaganda and holding up a mirror to would-be revolutionaries in the industrialised countries, as they already projected their wishes for sublime originality onto the Palestinians half a century ago, fuelling resentment and accepting terror against Israel. That would have been an enlightening project. It could have led to a real dialogue with the Documenta guests from Europe. And to a reflection on their own, long-standing ideological entanglements in the Middle East conflict.
But that was missed. And then the question arises as to whether the collective Ruangrupa as artistic direction helped to select and accompany the works. If so, they wanted this propaganda. And if not, it is a mistake anyway.
Fact is, that the curatorial team ruangrupa received through various media channels a “fair warning” signal BEFORE the opening of documenta15, see the attached newspaper articles. They could have pro-actively react and check the works with anti-Semitic contents. Which eventually did NOT occur.
The Art Newspaper 16 June 2022
By Kabir Jhala
“Scandal and Sensitivity”
Kassel’s 15th Documenta organised by Indonesian collective ruangrupa, has been marred by controversy prior to its opening, with accusations of antisemitism and a vandalised exhibition space.
Regarding ART BASEL, you may learn more via:
アート・バーゼル、成功への宿命 (アーティストたちによって裸にされたアート・バーゼル、さえも*) 2022年度
ART BASEL – Doomed To Succeed (ART BASEL Stripped Bare by Her Artists, Even*) 2022 version
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 16. Juni 2022 (During Art Basel)
Von Michael Wolffsohn
Die Documenta macht Politik statt Kunst
Wie judenfeindlich soll der deutsche Kulturbetrieb noch werden?
Ein Doppelvorwurf steht jetzt in Kassel im Raum: Einige Ruangrupa-Mitglieder pflegten als Postkolonialisten enge Verbindungen zur israelfeindlichen Kampagne Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). Unter den Eingeladenen seien nicht allein Kritiker israelischer Politik, sondern Gegner der Existenz Israels. Wer wiederum das Existenzrecht des jüdischen Staates bestreite, beraube die Juden ihrer einzig zuverlässigen Lebensversicherung und sei daher objektiv Antisemit – auch wenn er oder sie das subjektiv nicht sein wolle. Nach der Überzeugung der Postkolonialisten werden die Verbrechen des westlichen Kolonialismus dem Holocaust gleichgestellt oder sogar als noch schlimmer betrachtet. Selten hört man dabei ein Wort über den russischen, chinesischen, japanischen, osmanischen oder, ja, indonesischen Kolonialismus auf Papua-Neuguinea.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung 16 June 2022 (During Art Basel)
By Michael Wolffsohn
Documenta makes politics instead of art
How hostile to Jews is the German culture industry still to become?
Accusation of Postcolonialism
A double accusation is now being made in Kassel: as post-colonialists, some Ruangrupa members have close ties to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Among those invited were not only critics of Israeli politics, but also opponents of Israel’s existence. Anyone who denies the right of the Jewish state to exist is depriving the Jews of their only reliable life insurance and is therefore objectively anti-Semitic – even if subjectively he or she does not want to be. According to the conviction of the post-colonialists, the crimes of Western colonialism are equated with the Holocaust or even considered worse. Rarely does one hear a word about Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Ottoman or, yes, Indonesian colonialism in Papua New Guinea.
End of quote.
About BDS, read wikipedia:
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel.
「ボイコット、投資撤収、制裁」運動 （Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions：頭文字をとってBDSまたはBDS運動など）は、イスラエルに対し、国際法に違反するとみられる行為を中止させるための政治的・経済的圧力の形成と増強を目的としたグローバルなキャンペーンである。この目的に沿って、BDS運動は「イスラエルに国際法を遵守させるまで、様々な種類のボイコット」を行うことを呼びかけている。またBDS運動によって主張されている目標としては、イスラエルによって、パレスチナ人の領土（東エルサレムを含むヨルダン川西岸地区とガザ地区）およびゴラン高原において行われている占領と入植活動の終結と、イスラエル・アラブ（イスラエル市民となったアラブ系パレスチナ人）の差別解消、さらにパレスチナ難民の帰還権（英語版）の承認が挙げられている。
Before we get to the venues I liked at documenta15, we have to archive the anti-Semitic works shown and later removed. For detailed informations, please check the following link:
「カッセルのユダヤ人雌豚」”Die Judensau von Kassel”
Let’s throw away the Western Art Canon.
Are you sure?
Do you regard Picasso or Picabia as White artists?
Mostly financed with taxpayers’ money, art biennials or documenta are supposed to delight, disturb, challenge the public. Trying to push the “erweiterter Kunstbegriff”, “extended art concept”, the so-called “Soziale Plastik” a little bit further to the edge.
So-called post-colonialists, with actions, discussions, installations, with discourses on art, have set the goal of declaring the Canon of the West invalid.
Ergo, rejecting the aesthetic criteria of the “Whites” and of the “Japanese”.
But hey, Picasso was not a White man! He has North African roots. “Indigenous” Japanese aesthetics strongly influenced the Western Art Canon!
Freeing thought, action, and emancipating from colonial entanglements.
Of course, d’accord. To which nothing could be said.
To throw away the canon, to declare the beautiful ugly, that’s where every Avant-garde begins.
I honestly doubt, contemporary art workers are able top Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism, my favourite art movements.
And the realisation that art of great beauty, depth, and mystery being created beyond the European academies, was, after all, the motive for the European colonisers to steal these works, exhibit them, and trade them at high prices. Right!?
The problem is that this discourse about art, even if its protagonists certainly see it differently, is hardly about art and not even about politics. Art, even if no works are created in the process, would be a procedure that allows contradictions, endures ambivalences, and unfolds its power precisely where concepts no longer know how to proceed. And politics would try to analyze the conflicts and to draft proposals for solutions. For the de-colonization of art, however, both are usually too complicated, too historically complex to understand on the spot. It works only with “morality” – and it has identified Israel as the realm of evil.
What brings documenta15-related artists, ruangrupa and its “sub”-curators to denounce the only democratic state in a world region of dictatorships, autocracies and religious fanaticism as an apartheid state and oppressive regime and to sign corresponding appeals and manifestos?
Here lies the main problem of the documenta15 in Germany.
Most art lovers in my social environment applauded Cecilia Alemani’s curated, ongoing Venice Biennale, but were disappointed about documenta15. They rightly questioned: where’s the art?
The answer points out to the slogan of documenta15: “make friends not art”.
Make friends, not art
Interview in full with the Indonesian collective ruangrupa, who is in charge of Documenta 15’s artistic direction. Their proposal for the big event of 2020 has as temporary title Lumbung (rice barn for collective use) and it will be an invite for ecosystem building
Documenta15’s “make friends not art” perfectly refers to my work “when art is over” from 2015. Shown at the ART FAIR TOKYO and the Aoyama Meguro Gallery, it went straight into the collection of TOMINAGA Goso 富永剛総.
For the Metaverse, Instagram + Facebook universe, “make more friends” makes sense. But not for me. How many TRUE friends do you allow in your mental state, in your heart? Not more than five persons, right?
Let’s get to the crux of the local & global art scene. Most art workers are sociopaths.
Please protect me from their psycho, neurotic problems. No more FB friends, please. No more artist friends from the documenta15. Enough is enough.
documenta15 CINEMA CARAVAN & TAKASHI KURIBAYASHI
TAKASHI KURIBAYASHI & RAI SHIZUNO/CINEMA CARAVAN
Resonances of Distances / Road to Documenta 15
03.09. – 16.10.2021
documenta fifteen 2022
For documenta fifteen, the artists are driven by the motto “make friends not art.” They show a series of works grouped around an open-air cinema with a bar. Building on previous works, such as Kuribayashi’s Genki-Ro installation (2021), there is a functioning herbal steam sauna in the shape of the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, and the ongoing Yatai Trip Project (since 2009), which uses the mobile food stall as a device for creating spontaneous communal sites.
ドクメンタへの道。【栗林 隆（Takashi Kuribayashi）】
Japan, South Korea or Taiwan for ruangrupa belongs to the so-called “Rich Global North”, whereas Indonesia represents the “Poor Global South”.
Japan’s post-colonialism in Asia could be an appropriate example to discuss in one of the documenta15 venues. However, collective ruangrupa self-restrained, refrained from “touching” their close Asian neighbour. Why?
Up-date 2022/9/11 Jakarta and its subway, where Japanese companies are involved.
Similar to Jakarta, overcrowd Tokyo as a perfect example of an Asian post-modernism metropolis with an ever growing population and earthquake resistant skyscrapers.
Mitsubishi Estate (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries selling weapons to Indonesia) is actually building Japan’s tallest 390 meter tall, 61-storey skyscraper near central Tokyo Station, – more electricity necessary from Nuclear Power Plants, “made by Mitsubishi”.
Or, how about discussing the “brutal” re-modelling of Tokyo’s Roppongi area, with its Mori Art Museum on the 52nd floor of the Roppongi Hills Mori Tower? Build for the “New Rich”, organising Roppongi’s Art Night, featuring “Rich Global North” Japan’s art superstar, indigenous MURAKAMI Takashi 村上隆 and DORAEMON ドラえもん ?
DORAEMON and Art Superstar MURAKAMI Takashi @ ROPPONGI ART NIGHT 2022
In the meantime the director general of documenta15 had been fired. Collective ruangrupa members seen nowhere, not showing up at the various documenta12 venues. According to the statement of the supervisory board, an investigation should include indications of possible anti-Semitic imagery and the promotion of “Israel-related anti-Semitism… with due regard for the fundamental right to artistic freedom.”
A lot of trust has unfortunately been lost. Not only in Germany.
Last but not least, my understanding of one of the basic tenets of the collective ruangrupa is to get free marijuana. I was looking around in vain.
Hey you pussies, ruangrupa, the lumbung community, where did you distribute your weed at documenta15?
Ras Attitude – Marijuana (We Ah Bun) [Official Video 2016]
東京・バーゼル Tokyo-Basel, 2022/7/29
亜 真里男 Mario A
“The Cannabis Collective” (Green Rush Episode 2)
Aussteiger-Community auf Gran Canaria: Wenn aus Gemeinschaft Feindschaft wird | Y-Kollektiv
Photo by Mario A
例えば：ソーシャル・プラスチック Zum Beispiel: Soziale Plastik
Party Office is an anti-caste, anti-racist, trans*feminist art and social space in New Delhi, India, which also operates at satellite locations and conceptual architecture. Through publications, grants, radical archives, conversations of life lived, social gatherings, parties and more, they are building translation dialogues on empathetic futures, care communities and radical agency.
TWIST – Die Kultur-Sendung von ARTE
GUTACHTEN ZUR KUNSTFREIHEIT
Der letzte Skandal
Was will man aus der Documenta lernen? Der Berliner Verfassungsrechtler Christoph Möllers hat für Claudia Roth ein Gutachten über die Kunstfreiheit verfasst.
Der Documenta-Skandal war ein Desaster mit Ansage. Früh und laut war die deutsche Kulturnation vor dem gewarnt worden, was in ihrem Kasseler Kunstschaufenster voraussichtlich zu sehen sein werde, nachdem man die indonesischen Kuratoren der Gruppe Ruangrupa als Dekorateure für die Saison 2022 verpflichtet hatte. Warum trat das Desaster trotzdem ein? Aufklärung ist versprochen. In Kassel wird unter dem Namen der Documenta ein Forschungsbetrieb unterhalten, der im Interesse städtischer Markenpflege eine institutionelle Verstetigung der Documenta anstrebt. Diese offizielle Gedächtnispflege verträgt sich eigentlich schlecht mit der Aufgabe der Documenta, die nur alle fünf Jahre stattfindet, damit sie dem Publikum den Schock des Neuen bieten kann, den man von der Kunst seit den Anfängen der Moderne erwartet. Aber da es das Documenta-Institut schon gibt, wird es jetzt naturgemäß tätig und beginnt mit der Bewältigung der jüngsten Vergangenheit.
Das ist Routine. Mit Forschungsergebnissen im Sinne von Einsichten, auf die man selbst nicht gekommen wäre, weil sie nur durch methodische Anstrengung zu gewinnen sind, ist eher nicht zu rechnen. Die in Kassel eifrig betriebene Aufarbeitung der Gründungsgeschichte der Documenta und des wenig überraschenden, eigentlich auch nie unbekannten Umstands, dass an diesem kulturpolitischen Prestigeprojekt der jungen Bundesrepublik etliche NS-Belastete mitwirkten, dient hauptsächlich der Erhöhung des moralischen Kredits der heutigen Markeninhaber. Wie schnell es gelingen kann, das Anstößige von 2022, den SS-Mann mit Schläfenlocken und die gespielte Sprachlosigkeit des Kuratorenteams, als interessante Lokalfarbigkeit von der Art des Ärgers über die DDR-Künstler auf der Documenta 6 in das selbstgefällige Narrativ einer Kunstgeschichte als Streitgeschichte einzusortieren, wird man wohl erst anhand der unvermeidlichen Begleitausstellung der sechzehnten Documenta in vier Jahren beurteilen können.
Documenta Committee Issues Final Report on Antisemitism Controversy, Saying the Show Was ‘Echo Chamber’ for Anti-Israel Sentiment
Roughly four months after its most-recent edition ended, Documenta has released a final report on the repeated allegations of antisemitism that plagued the storied German art show’s 2022 exhibition. Reiterating claims made while the show was still on view, the scientific committee accused the curators and certain artists of exhibiting a clear antisemitic bias through works that promoted stereotypes and a negative view of Israel.
The 133-page report, released to the public on Monday only in a German-language version, was penned by what Documenta termed a “scientific advisory panel,” or a group of experts on art, antisemitism, colonialism, and law.
The report attempted to point at objective evidence of antisemitism in some works by providing a formal analysis of certain pieces, exploring the history of the Jews and Israel, and considering the response to pushback by those involved with Documenta 15. Its ultimate conclusion was a damning one: that Documenta 15 became “an echo chamber for Israel-related anti-Semitism, and sometimes for pure anti-Semitism.”
“documenta’s hesitant response to cases of antisemitism was disturbing to many Jewish citizens and organizations,” the report says. “For Jews, anti-Semitic incidents are not a purely discursive phenomenon, but they threaten their participation in society, their security and their future in Germany as the country of the Shoah.”
Past declarations by the panel have been contested by the curators of Documenta 15, the Indonesian collective ruangrupa, and the artists they selected, many of whom were from the Global South. In a prior statement in which they claimed the experts had a sense of “eurocentric superiority,” the curators and around 65 participating artists said, “Because we stand by our rejection of censorship, we vigorously opposed the creation of this scientific advisory panel.”
A significant number of people in the international art world have fallen on ruangrupa’s side, claiming that Documenta 15’s detractors were placing undue pressure on a show that, because of its focus on the Global South, was quite unlike any other major European biennial ever mounted. Accusations of racism and censorship were hurled at the panel by artists involved and international critics. Some have even cast doubt on how the German show, which takes place once every five years in Kassel, can persist in its current form.
The scientific advisory panel largely sidestepped the allegations of racism, however, writing, “The racist undertones of some of the criticism of ruangrupa, which we can also perceive, deserve their own academic work-up, which has to be done elsewhere. The relationship between anti-Semitism and postcolonial criticism, which has once again become the focus of public debate in the debate about the documenta, requires a more open and objective discussion than the local public is currently able to deliver. Panel members will participate in these debates, but not in this report.”
Artworks That ‘Delegitimize Israel’
The antisemitism controversy began before Documenta 15 even opened due to the inclusion of a Palestinian collective, which some Jewish groups alleged was emblematic of an anti-Israel stance. Then, on opening week, a work by Indonesian art collective Taring Padi containing an image of a man with shylocks was bitterly decried and then ultimately removed. Some criticized that artist group and Documenta for its sluggishness to respond, an allegation that the scientific advisory panel repeated in its final report.
The panel focused its attention on the Taring Padi piece, a 26-foot-tall mural called People’s Justice, as well as three other bodies of work: a group of pro-Palestine films known as the Tokyo Reels that were exhibited by Subversive Film, Mohammad Al-Hawajri’s “Guernica Gaza” series, and materials presented by the Archives des Luttes des Femmes en Algérie.
“It is striking that all works dealing with the Middle East unilaterally represent an anti-Israel position and Jews are never portrayed as people who were and are exposed to threats and persecution,” the report says.
Each body of work was placed under the microscope, with the report’s authors attempting to inscribe what they described as stereotyped imagery within the larger history of antisemitism across the centuries. At one point, there is a lengthy discussion of the antisemitic caricatures that Taring Padi drew on in its work.
But the primary focus of the section on the art itself, which constitutes about a third of the report, is the view that these artists placed too great an emphasis on Israel’s role in various colonial conflicts, a perspective that the report said could contribute to further antisemitism.
The Taring Padi work, for example, makes an allusion to Mossad, a reference to Israel’s connections to Indonesia’s brutal Suharto regime, which have been documented previously by historians. Yet the report’s authors claimed that other countries had far greater engagement with that violent dictatorship and that seeking to highlight Israel’s involvement “falls into a well-known anti-Semitic pattern: namely, the grossly exaggerating the Jewish share in furthering the world’s political and economic ills.”
Similar accusations were made against the Tokyo Reels, which “delegitimize Israel’s existence on the one hand and advocate violence against Israel on the other,” per the report. (The scientific advisory panel had formerly called on Documenta to pull the Tokyo Reels from the show, but the exhibition’s organizers advisers kept them on view.) The “Guernica Gaza” pieces, which drew on antiwar artworks such as Picasso’s Guernica and instances of violence in the Gaza Strip, are accused of attempting to “propagate the Manichaean notion that Jews are deeply evil and their victims thoroughly innocent.” And the Archives works are said to enlist potentially harmful images associated with Israel without proper “contextualization of the pictorial elements reconstructed as anti-Semitic.”
An ‘Innovative’ But Problematic Framework
Reports such as the one put out by the scientific panel today are virtually unprecedented, both within the history of Documenta and the history of biennials across the globe. For that reason, it is likely to be pored over by many art professionals across the globe.
The report seemed to decry a current way of working at major biennials that was utilized by ruangrupa for Documenta 15 and is growing increasingly popular. Soon after ruangrupa was picked to curate Documenta 15, they announced a group of collectives that would pick other artists’ groups. Those groups were then allowed to bring on artists of their own, making for a show that grew so sprawling, it is believed to have included well over 1,000 participants, almost all of whom did not make the initial artist list.
The concept, the report says, was “innovative,” and it led to a globalist vibe that could also be glimpsed this year at the Venice Biennale, the Biennale de Lyon, the Istanbul Biennial, and Manifesta in Prishtina, Kosovo, according to the panel. Yet, the panel said, this expanded, decentralized view still did not seem to reflect everyone’s perspective at Documenta 15.
“Ultimately, Ruangrupa did not live up to their own ‘de-colonial’ claim: to sharpen the view of the untold micro-histories of the world and to approach their complexity through multiplied, open collective structures like in a snowball principle,” the panel wrote, acknowledging that Documenta and its supervisory board should have done more to support a group whose members “do not appear to have been adequately prepared” for the firestorm that the exhibition weathered.
The panel advocated for a firmer, more centralized authority at Documenta and greater limits being placed on curators going forward. (A curator has not yet been named for Documenta 16 in 2027.) It also demanded more transparency in future editions.
In a statement, Christian Geselle and Angela Dorn, the chairman and deputy member of Documenta’s supervisory board, respectively, called the panel’s report “a well-founded and in-depth analysis of the events that have shaken documenta fifteen.”