The controversy cost the position of the director of Documenta. The prestigious German contemporary art meeting in Kassel announced on Saturday July 16 that Sabine Schormann will leave her post following a controversy over content deemed anti-Semitic. A decision that comes from the Supervisory Board of Documenta. The latter expressed “deep dismay that clearly anti-Semitic motives could be observed” at the opening of the contemporary art fair in June, according to a statement. As a result, an agreement was reached with the director to “terminate [her] contract”.

The outrageous artwork came from the Indonesian collective Taring Padi, whose mural titled People’s Justice showed a soldier with a pig’s head, a Star of David and the inscription “Mossad” on his helmet.

Also featured was a man with long teeth, curly hair, a hat with Nazi SS inscriptions, and a cigar in the corner of his mouth, reminiscent of anti-Semitic caricatures of Orthodox Jews. This work was quickly covered up after requests for removal from the Israeli Embassy and representatives of the Jews of Germany.

But it has thrown opprobrium on this world-class exhibition taking place every five years and of which this is the fifteenth edition. “It is essential to quickly clarify this incident” and to “learn the lessons”, in order to avoid anti-Semitic excesses in the cultural and artistic world, the press release continues. “A lot of trust has unfortunately been lost” to the detriment of the exhibition, this text underlines.