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Ruangrupa members take up visiting professorships at the Hamburg Art Academy

After the documenta fifteen in Kassel, which was overshadowed by allegations of anti-Semitism, two members of the Indonesian curator collective Ruangrupa took up guest professorships at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg.

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Ruangrupa members take up visiting professorships at the Hamburg Art Academy

After the documenta fifteen in Kassel, which was overshadowed by allegations of anti-Semitism, two members of the Indonesian curator collective Ruangrupa took up guest professorships at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg. The university confirmed this on Friday at the request of the German Press Agency. The "Spiegel" had previously reported.

According to a spokeswoman, it is a guest professorship for Reza Afisina and Iswanto Hartono, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The application was made in January, i.e. before the start of the documenta, the spokeswoman said.

The German-Israeli Society announced that its President, Volker Beck, had sent a letter to the responsible departments in the Federal Foreign Office protesting the awarding of the visiting professorship to Hartono and Afisina. Beck wrote in it that this was a "fatal signal for German foreign cultural policy and the commitment to Israel's security and existence in the coalition agreement: "For us, Israel's security is a matter of state." Israeli boycott movement BDS. In it, the Bundestag condemned calls for a boycott against Israel.

The 15th edition of the documenta had been overshadowed by ever new allegations of anti-Semitism. Already at the beginning of the year, the first voices were raised accusing Ruangrupa and some invited artists of being close to the BDS movement. Shortly after the opening in mid-June, a work with anti-Semitic imagery was discovered and dismantled. Even after that, works with anti-Jewish stereotypes were discovered.

Afisina and Hartono also share a guest professorship at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, a spokesman confirmed. They were already working there in the 2022 summer semester and will continue their commitment in the coming winter semester. Documenta curators traditionally take over events.

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