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  • Aug 19, 2022

Weekly News Roundup: August 19, 2022

Detail of TARING PADI’s All Mining Is Dangerous, 2010, woodcut on cotton cloth, 89.6 × 259.7 cm, after alteration at documenta fifteen. Courtesy documenta fifteen. 

Taring Padi to Change Another Artwork Over Antisemitism Concerns

Yogyakarta-based artist group Taring Padi altered one of their works “to avoid harmful misinterpretation” at documenta fifteen. The changes were first spotted by German-Jewish youth group Junges Forum DIG, who tweeted on August 15 a before-and-after image of Taring Padi’s work All Mining Is Dangerous (2010). According to the tweet, the original depicts a man wearing a kippah, a brimless cap traditionally worn by Jewish men; while the version at Documenta shows the cap being covered with black tape. The group alleged that Taring Padi purposefully illustrated “the caricature of a greedy, long-nosed Jew, which is known from Nazi publications.” The involved print work supposedly portrays a 2006 gas pipeline explosion in East Java that resulted in 10 dead and many injured. In response to these allegations, Taring Padi clarified that the artwork “is not, and was never, a depiction of a Jewish religious head covering.” They intended to depict a similar Indonesian head covering called the kopiah instead of the Jewish kippah. The artist collective added that the work was altered in June, “In this case, this was not done to cover up, but as an aesthetic choice to respond to the immediate context in which the work was shown.” The group’s banner People’s Justice (2002) was taken down in June shortly after the opening of the festival.  

Portrait of JOSE DA SILVA. Courtesy Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. 

Adelaide Biennial Announces 2024 Curator

José Da Silva, director of UNSW Galleries, has been named curator of the upcoming Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 2024. His proposal and the theme of the festival are yet to be announced. With more than 20 years of curatorial and management experience, Da Silva previously held curatorial roles at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)’s Australian Cinémathèque and organized a range of film and media art projects and programs, with contributions to the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art from 2006 to 2018. Prior to joining QAGOMA, Da Silva also served as curator of public art and design for Brecknock Consulting and project manager for Multimedia Art Asia Pacific. Established in 1990, the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art is presented in association with the Adelaide Festival, supported by the Art Gallery of South Australia Biennial Ambassadors Program and principal donor The Balnaves Foundation. The most recent iteration “Free/State,” led by Sydney-based curator Sebastian Goldspink, ended on June 5 this year.

Portrait of REBECCA IP. Courtesy Hong Kong Arts Centre. 

Rebecca Ip to Lead Hong Kong Arts Centre

Hong Kong Arts Centre (HKAC) appointed Rebecca Ip as its new executive director, effective August 15. She succeeds Connie Lam, who was in charge of the Centre for 13 years since 2009. Before joining HKAC, Ip has led several educational and performing arts organizations, serving as executive director at the Victoria Educational Organisation from 2019 to 2022; the French International School of Hong Kong from 2014 to 2017; and The Hong Kong Ballet from 2010 to 2013. Between 2013 and 2014 she also briefly worked at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority as senior adviser of strategic commercial planning for performing arts venues. Bringing more than 10 years of experience in the fields of arts and education to HKAC, she will oversee the Centre’s management and corporate strategies, including fundraising, marketing, and operations, along with the management of the Hong Kong Art School, a self-financing institution under HKAC.