30.06.2022 | Petition: In support of documenta fifteen

The spokesperson of the bbk berlin, Zoë Claire Miller, is one of the first signatories of the petition "In support of documenta fifteen" by

Iris Dessler,In support of documenta fifteen and all those involved in it

Taking down the banner installation "People's Justice" by the Indonesian collective Taring Padi shown at documenta fifteen was right and necessary. The banner reproduces and updates an anti-Semitic visual vocabulary that was used in Germany to prepare and legitimize the murder of millions of Jewish people. This image repertoire, with its dehumanizing and defamatory power still effective today, is unacceptable and we condemn its circulation – regardless of the cultural or geographical context – in the strongest possible terms.

We are also convinced that documenta fifteen is an extraordinary project, worth experiencing and of seminal importance. It is a project, which negotiates diverse artistic approaches and aesthetic practices as well as highly relevant questions concerning the present from different perspectives, emphasizing post- and decolonial perspectives. It platforms positions and voices of diverse groups that are far too often overlooked, overheard or marginalized.

We highly value the curatorial model of documenta fifteen based on collective structures and its processual character, as well as its far-reaching attentiveness to solidarity, sustainability, resource sharing and participation.

The rightful removal of the work "People's Justice" from the central Friedrichsplatz in Kassel must be followed up now with response taking, transparency and a sincere and thorough reflection of what happened – while at the same time with a differentiated discussion of Antisemitism, Islamophobia, Romaphobia, anti-Black and other forms of racism and xenophobia: particularly in view of the numerous discrediting attacks from right-wing populist contexts with which documenta fifteen was already confronted long before its opening.

In our opinion, the mistake of showing "People's Justice" should not lead to a blanket condemnation of the entire documenta fifteen with its hundreds of artists and activists and their impressive, important and enriching contributions.

During the hundred days of documenta fifteen, many participants will be on site in ever different constellations. They deserve to be welcomed with openness, curiosity and hospitality instead of prejudice and generalized suspicion.

We hope and support that within these hundred days documenta fifteen will regain its unique energy based on its beauty, urgency, polyphony and generosity. We have great respect and appreciation for all those involved in this project.