Today I am sad and angry and confused and disappointed. The city of Kassel decided to remove Taring Padi’s artwork on Friedrichsplatz “People’s Justice”, because it contained antisemitic symbols. Before it was covered with a black textile. And now everybody hides, and nobody wants to talk about it.
Antisemitism is banned by law in Germany. That doesn’t make it less bad in other parts of the world. I think any kind of antisemitism and racism should be banned everywhere. In this case, though, I don’t understand why it isn’t put in a context. These symbols on this banner have a meaning in the context the banner was created.
I did not detect any antisemitic symbol on that banner, but I think it is a good sign if others did. That shows that the society is sensitive to this topic. But covering it and removing it afterwards without any debate, discussion is just the wrong way. I think a discussion would have been so much more valuable and enriching for everybody. And if the discussion within the context it was created and within the context of documenta fifteen, to wich everybody involved and interested in documenta fifteen participate, would lead to the joint decision of removing the banner, at least the rest of the position should have stayed. The boards around the banner and the scaffolding should have given an explanation why the banner has been removed.
There would have been many other, also nice and educational ways to deal with the situation. It’s frustrating the most authoritarian was chosen.