• News
  • Jul 04, 2024

Documenta 16 Appoints New Finding Committee

Portrait of (from left to right) MAMI KATAOKA, GRIDTHIYA GAWEEWONG, N’GONE FALL, SERGIO EDELSZTEIN, and YILMAZ DZIEWIOR. Courtesy Documenta 16. 

Nearly eight months after the contentious resignation of Documenta 16’s entire Finding Committee last November, the German art event has announced the six new members who will select an artistic director for its 2027 edition. 

The new committee, Documenta’s supervisory board revealed on July 3, includes Yilmaz Dziewior, director of Museum Ludwig in Cologne; Sergio Edelsztein, an Argentinian-born Israeli freelance curator who founded the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv; N’Goné Fall, a Senegalese independent curator and cultural policies specialist; Gridthiya Gaweewong, artistic director of the Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok; Mami Kataoka, director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum; and Yasmil Raymond, a Frankfurt-based independent curator and former director at Portikus and Rector of Städelschule. The group notably comprises three members based in Germany (Dziewior, Edelsztein, and Raymond), a shift from the previous committee that was criticized for a lack of German representation.

“With their proven expertise and varied backgrounds, the participants represent to an extraordinary degree the diversity and international nature of the Documenta exhibitions,” stated Andreas Hoffmann, managing director of Documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH, in a press release. “This lays the foundation for the international art world to once again be a familiar and welcome guest in Kassel.”

The original members’ departure was precipitated by the slander of Mumbai-based writer and curator Ranjit Hoskoté, who was accused of antisemitism by the German media and government for signing a 2019 petition protesting “Hindutva and Zionism.” Israeli-French artist Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger stepped down shortly after the scandal broke, citing the “fragmented” art world. Hosokté followed suit; in a resignation letter published on e-flux he described the allegations of antisemitism as “monstrous” and compared the backlash he received to “the proceedings of a kangaroo court.” The remaining four members collectively resigned on November 17, 2023, voicing “grave concerns” about the exhibition’s future. 

The Finding Committee will immediately commence their search for an artistic director by inviting prominent figures in the contemporary art scene to present proposals for the forthcoming edition. In May, the Documenta supervisory board announced that it will not establish a code of conduct for the artistic director of its 16th edition, and it has not disclosed a timeline for the planned appointment.

Mioie Kwok is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific. 

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