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Arts & Culture update: A 'hole' lot of fuss for nothing?

Updated: Mar 29, 2020

By Alex Stuart

A 'hole' lot of fuss for nothing? The Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice, Germany’s highest civil and criminal court) in Karlsruhe has decided that Mannheim Kunsthalle was right to destroy an artist’s installation during its renovation. Nathalie Braun Barends sued the gallery when her work ‘HHole’, consisting of consecutive holes through the seven floors of the building, was demolished to make room for a high ceiling foyer. She demanded either reinstallation or compensation. While the artist usually has the right to block the destruction of an artwork, after years of dispute the court decided that the building owner’s interests in a renovation take priority in this instance. The case of the ‘Mannheimer Loch’ (the Mannheim hole) as it has come to be known, will likely set a precedent for similar disputes in the future; a controversial one which is the latest in a series of actions that encroach on artist rights in Germany. Indonesia artist collective appointed 'Artistic Direction' of Documenta 15 The 2022 edition of the world-renowned art fair Documenta 15 will be curated by Ruangrupa, an artist and creative collective based in Jakarta. This is the first year the highly coveted curatorial position will be held by an artistic collective and that the curators will hail from Asia. The decision follows the controversy surrounding Documenta 14 in 2017, which ran up a deficit of €7.6 million after the director decided to expand, exhibiting in Athens as well as the usual location of Kassel. Ruangrupa’s curatorial approach aims to promote local participation within communities all over the world. They said in a statement: “If Documenta was launched in 1955 to heal war wounds, why shouldn’t we focus Documenta 15 on today’s injuries, especially ones rooted in colonialism, capitalism, or patriarchal structures, and contrast them with partnership-based models that enable people to have a different view of the world.”

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