Furor Over Documenta Highlights a Widening Chasm in Germany 藝術展風波 凸顯德國深刻分歧
Documenta, an art world mega-event held every five years in Kassel, Germany, is no stranger to controversy. Yet this year's edition has eclipsed anything in the past.
Since the sprawling show opened in June, a major artwork has been pulled from display for containing antisemitic caricatures, and the event's director general has resigned. Late last month, some members of the country's governing coalition called for Documenta to be shut down until it could be vetted for further antisemitic works after it emerged that the show also contained drawings made during the 1980s of Israeli soldiers, including one with a hooked nose.
The uproar around the images has dominated German newspapers for weeks — but that comes on top of months of allegations that ruangrupa, a collective that curated this year's event, and other artists, were supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, which is widely viewed in Germany as antisemitic.
Taken together, Documenta has become the latest cultural event to highlight a growing divide between the German establishment's views on a boycott of Israel and those of artists, musicians and other creatives, particularly from outside the country.
The furor around Documenta began six months before the show opened, when a protest group, Alliance Against Antisemitism Kassel, raised accusations of artists supporting the BDS movement. The accusations were made on an anonymous blog but were picked up by German newspapers and repeated by politicians.
Around 60 feet long, it is a political banner that features cartoonlike depictions of activists struggling under Indonesia's military rule. Among hundreds of figures is a caricature of a Jew with sidelocks and fangs, wearing a hat emblazoned with the Nazi SS emblem.
With so little trust between the artists and the German media and authorities, even efforts to address the flashpoints at Documenta are facing challenges.
A Signal of Climate Change Just Got More Dire 氣候變遷之兆愈顯不祥
The rapid warming of the Arctic, a definitive sign of climate change, is occurring even faster than previously described, researchers in Finland said Thursday.
Over the past four decades, the region has been heating up four times faster than the global average, not the two to three times that has commonly been reported. And some parts of the region, notably the Barents Sea north of Norway and Russia, are warming up to seven times faster, they said.
One result of rapid Arctic warming is faster melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which adds to sea-level rise. But the impacts extend far beyond the Arctic, reaching down to influence weather such as extreme rainfall and heat waves in North America and elsewhere. By altering the temperature difference between the North Pole and the equator, the warming Arctic appears to have affected storm tracks and wind speed in North America.
Manvendra Dubey, an atmospheric scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico, and an author of an earlier study with similar findings, said the faster rate of warming of the Arctic was worrisome, and points to the need to closely monitor the region.
The two studies serve as a sharp reminder that humans continue to burn fossil fuels and pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at rates that are dangerously heating the planet and unleashing extreme weather.
Weeks after a deadly heat wave clamped down on European capitals, extreme temperatures are again engulfing western Europe this week. The heaviest rainfall in decades inundated Seoul, South Korea, killing at least nine and damaging nearly 3,000 structures. The McKinney wildfire continues to rage in Northern California, destroying 60,000 acres, killing four people and triggering a mass fish kill.
If the rate of warming in the Arctic continues to speed up, the influence on weather could worsen, one of the researchers said. Projections of future climate impacts might need to be adjusted, said Mika Rantanen, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki.