<< Boaz Kaizman / urgent appeal

Subject: urgent appeal

Dear Hortensia Völckers,
10 years ago, we met at an opening and enclosed dinner at the Ludwig Museum, Cologne. I took this opportunity to express my opinion and concerns about the 7. Berlin Biennale 2012 and about the Kulturstiftung des Bundes as its main funding partner. I was very harsh in my judgment and apologized for the way I raised my concerns, but I did not retract my claims.

Unfortunately, I have to say today that similar positions and similar acts have taken further center stage, multiplied, have become trivial and legitimized. I can draw a direct line between the 7th Berlin Biennale 2012 and the documenta-fifteen 2022. Then as now, it is about a reactionary movement against the drastic changes caused by the digital age or the age of algorithms. The antisemitic incidents then and now are, in my opinion, an accompanying phenomenon or an aftertaste of every reactionary movement in the Western world.

It is a matter of many and momentous changes. It is about extensions of key concepts such as identity, time and space. Extending these concepts for example by the use of Artificial Intelligence in the production of art or the Online Identity in art perception. The documenta-fifteen proposed a utopia in which a reactionary and misleading identity of the "Global South" played a central role. This identity of the "Global South" was conveyed as representing the "genuine Da-sein (be-ing)" in space and time. It was presented exclusively in an archaic and romantic view and thus as a contrast to the digital age or the age of algorithms. Therein lies the reactionary moment. With this idea, the documenta-fifteen itself executed a colonial act.

assume you don't share my opinion. But I appeal to you again to clarify at least the following question: Which structural features led to "Judensau" style motifs (antisemitic imagery since the 13th century in Germany) being presented at a central point of the exhibition documenta-fifteen in Germany 2022. I appeal to you and ask you to create the financial framework for clarifying this urgent issue. You owe it to yourself as a person, as a German in 2022, as part of the local and international art community and as a key funder.

I am appalled by the brutal antisemitic attacks today, but I am sure they will not last. I am confident but still very sad. As an artist, neither as an Israeli nor as a Jew, it saddens me that, so few colleagues have taken a stand. I am very sad that only one person, one artist (Prof. Dr. phil. Hito Steyerl) has stood up. This reactionary movement in the art world will not stand against the future. The question is: what price will we pay by then? The price, that in 2022 antisemitic images will become socially acceptable again, we ought not pay.

I will publish this letter as an open letter. However, I will wait for your reply before posting it.

Boaz Kaizman