The Hessian anti-Semitism commissioner Uwe Becker has criticized the artistic direction of the "documenta fifteen" ruangrupa for not excluding the artist Hamja Ahsan from the art exhibition because of alleged anti-Semitic derailments. It was a bad mistake that the British artist was not uninvited and his work continued to be shown, said Becker on Saturday in Kassel. "Those who are not unloaded are still welcome and that is unbearable."
Bangladeshi-born Briton Ahsan has installed fictitious snack bars for fried halal chicken in lightboxes on the documenta grounds. According to his own statement, he wants to draw attention to the increasing Islamophobia in his home country in a satirical way. In addition, Ahsan had described Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) as a "fascist pig" in a Facebook entry.
"Anyone who agitates against Germany in this tasteless way, spreads hatred against Israel and openly expresses his support for the anti-Semitic BDS movement must not be given a platform in our country," said the Hessian state government's commissioner for Jewish life and the fight against anti-Semitism . Ahsan, who is trampling on his right to be a guest, must be uninvited from the documenta immediately.
Those responsible for documenta had distanced themselves from Ahsan in a statement. However, they emphasized that they wanted to continue showing his works.
This year's documenta has been overshadowed by accusations of anti-Semitism since the preparatory phase. Shortly after the opening of the exhibition in mid-June, the “People's Justice” banner by the Indonesian artist collective Taring Padi was taken down because of anti-Semitic motifs. The general director of the art show, Sabine Schormann, was recalled and a council of experts was appointed.