New finding committee appointed for Documenta 16

left to right Mami Kataoka, Photo: Ito Akinori; Gridthiya Gaweewong, Photo: Angkrit Ajchariyasophon; N‘Goné Fall, Photo: F. Diouf PHOTOGRAPHY; Sergio Edelsztein, Photo: Albi Serfaty; Yilmaz Dziewior, Photo: Falko Alexander

The Documenta supervisory board has appointed a six-person finding committee for Documenta 16 in Kassel, Germany.

The group is made up of Yilmaz Dziewior, director of Museum Ludwig in Cologne; Sergio Edelsztein, a freelance curator and founder of the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv; N‘Goné Fall, an independent curator, academic and former general commissioner of the Africa2020 Season in France (appointed by Emmanuel Macron); Gridthiya Gaweewong, artistic director of the Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok and codirector of the 2023 Thailand Biennale; Mami Kataoka, director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and Yasmil Raymond, an independent curator and former director at Portikus and Rector of Städelschule.

They will begin their search for artistic director of Documenta 16, due to open in 2027.

After a turbulent 15th edition curated by the Indonesian collective ruangrupa, which became mired in antisemitism controversy, the next instalment of the German quinquennial has until now faced constant turmoil. In November last year, the previous selection committee collectively resigned. Following the 7 October Hamas attack in Israel, committee member Ranjit Hoskoté in particular was targeted for signing a 2019 letter protesting a ‘Hindutva and Zionism’ event, while Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger also resigned after Documenta refused to delay the exhibition. The outgoing committee stated that: ‘In the current circumstances we do not believe that there is a space in Germany for an open exchange of ideas and the development of complex and nuanced artistic approaches that documenta artists and curators deserve.’

In May this year, the Documenta supervisory board announced that it would proceed with its 2027 edition, but without installing a code of conduct for its artistic director. This was among the recommendations set out by Documenta’s appointed expert advisory panel, following the previous iteration’s controversy.

No deadline has been announced for the search for the next edition’s artistic direction.

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