More than 100 participants in Documenta 14, the European quinquennial that held editions last year in Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany, have signed a letter in support of Yiannis Boutaris, the mayor of Thessaloniki, Greece, who was hospitalized after he was beaten by nationalist protestors. “We, the participants, artists, curators, and organizers of documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017, would like to express solidarity with you after the recent attacks,” the letter begins. Signees include Maria Eichhorn, Paul B. Preciado, Cecilia Vicuña, Naeem Mohaiemen, Vivian Suter, and Adam Szymczyck, the artistic director of Documenta 14.
Boutaris has been an outspoken opponent of nationalist forces in Greece. He has publicly committed himself to helping Thessaloniki’s Jewish, Turkish, and LGBTQI+ communities, and has overseen the creation of a Holocaust museum in the Greek city.
Last month, Boutaris was beaten while attending an event honoring the Greek who were killed by Turks during World War I. The Greek government subsequently blamed the attack on “extreme-right thugs.”
“The attack was cynical, but history is not with its perpetrators in the longer term,” the open letter concludes. “This is the moment for all of us to be further united toward building the future we wish to live and grow in.”
The full text of the letter, which first appeared as a Google Doc, follows below.
Dear Mayor Boutaris June 04, 2018
We, the participants, artists, curators, and organizers of documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017, would like to express solidarity with you after the recent attacks. We condemn the brutal attack by the ultra-right, nationalist activists on you during a public celebration in Thessaloniki on May 19, 2018.
We know you as an elected official who opened the city of Thessaloniki to diversity, fostering dialogue with Turkish communities around Kemal Ataturk’s house located in Thessaloniki, and advocating open approach to Jewish community, LGBTQ community, and migrants from all nations. We have seen you as interested in building the open city of the future. We especially appreciate your hosting of the final experimental music event of documenta 14 in Greece in the early-Christian rotunda in Thessaloniki, which you attended and supported. We also learned a great deal about you from the film One Step Ahead (Ένα βήμα μπροστά), directed by Dimitris Athiridis, who is currently completing a film Where Art Thou? about documenta 14.
The African American theologian and freedom fighter Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” With this in mind, we wish you good health, inner strength, and a clear mind to continue working for Thessaloniki, a wonderful Greek and European city that you have helped to open up to the world and to all its people.
The attack was cynical, but history is not with its perpetrators in the longer term. This is the moment for all of us to be further united toward building the future we wish to live and grow in. Thank you for your courage.
Participants in documenta
(alphabetical by surname)
Akinbode Akinbiyi, d14 artist, Berlin, Germany.
Nevin Aladag, d14 artist, Berlin.
Daniel G. Andújar d14 artist, Barcelona, Spain
Rasheed Araeen, d14 artist/Third Text, London, UK.
Dimitris Athiridis, filmmaker, Thessaloniki/Athens, Greece.
Sokol Beqiri, d14 artist, Peje, Kosovo.
Eric Alliez, Philosopher, Paris 8 / Kingston University.
Andreas Angelidakis, d14 artist, Athens, Greece.
Sepake Angiama, d14 aneducation.
Michel Auder, d14 artist, New York, USA.
Alexandra Bachzetsis, d14 artist, Zurich, Switzerland.
Pierre Bal-Blanc, D14 curator Athens-Paris
Fabio Balducci, d14 artist, Paris, France.
Stratos Bichakis, d14 artist, Athens, Greece.
Ross Birrell, d14 artist, Glasgow, Scotland.
Pavel Brăila, d11 & d14 artist. Chișinău, Moldova.
María Magdalena Campos-Pons, d14 artist, Nashville, USA.
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, d14 artist.
Panagiotis Charalampous, Rectorate, Athens School of Fine Arts, Greece.
Klea Charitou, d14 curatorial assistant, Athens, Greece.
Marie Cool, d14 artist, Paris, France.
Michelangelo Corsaro, d14 curatorial assistant, Athens, Greece.
Anna Daučíková, d14 artist, Prague, Czech Republic.
Moyra Davey, d14 artist, New York, USA.
Yael Davids, d14 artist, Amsterdam.
L. Igo DIARRA, d14 artist, Bamako, Mali.
Angela Dimitrakaki, writer, Edinburgh, Scotland and Athens, Greece.
Maria Eichhorn, d14 artist, Berlin, Germany.
Hans Eijkelboom, d14 artist.
Bonita Ely, Assoc. Professor, UNSW, Sydney, Australia.
Theo Eshetu d14 artist, Rome, Berlin.
Marina Fokidis, d14 curatorial advisor, Athens, Greece.
Hendrik Folkerts, d14 curator, Dittmer Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago, USA.
Aboubakar Fofana, d14 artist.
Regina José Galindo, d14 artist, Guatemala.
Pelagie Gbaguidi, d14 artist, Brussels, Belgium.
Sanchayan Ghosh, d14 everytime a ear de soun, Santiniketan, WB, India.
Gauri Gill, d14 artist, New Delhi, India.
Natasha Ginwala, d14 curatorial advisor, Berlin, Germany.
Marina Gioti, d14 artist, Athens, Greece.
Johan Grimonprez, dX artist, Belgium.
Ayşe Guelec, d14 community liaison, Kassel, Germany.
Hans Haacke, artist in documenta 14, 10, 8, 7, and 5, New York, USA.
Dale Harding, d14 artist, Brisbane, Australia.
David Harding, d14 artist Glasgow, Scotland.
Maria Hassabi, d14 artist, New York, USA.
Fanny Hauser, d14 curatorial assistant, Vienna, Austria.
Susan Hiller, d14 artist, London, UK.
Candice Hopkins, d14 curator, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Leon Hösl, d14 curatorial assistant, Vienna, Austria.
Anna Jäger, d14 curatorial research, Berlin
Amelia Jones, d14 scholar, Los Angeles, USA.
Hiwa K, d14 artist, Berlin, Germany.
Lenio Kaklea, choreographer, Paris, France.
Amar Kanwar, d14 artist, New Delhi, India.
Anton Kats, d14 artist, aneducation, Berlin, Germany.
Bouchra Khalili, d14 artist, Berlin, Germany.
Matoula Koutsari, d14 music coordinator, Greece.
Khvay Samnang, d14 artist, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Daniel Knorr, d14 artist, Berlin, Germany.
Annette Kulenkampff, d14 CEO, Kassel, Germany.
Katalin Ladik, d14 artist, Budapest, Hungary.
Quinn Latimer, d14 editor-in-chief of publications, Basel / Athens.
Neil Leonard, d14 artist, Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA.
Andrea Linnenkohl, assistant to d14 artistic director and curatorial advisor, Kassel, Germany.
Rick Lowe, d14 artist, Houston, Texas, USA.
Antonio Vega Macotela, d14 artist, Mexico city, Mexico.
Britta Marakatt-Labba, Sami artist group at d14.
Marianna Maruyama, artist, d14 Parliament of Bodies, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Keviselie/Hans Ragnar Mathisen, d14 artist
Ed McKeon, Third Ear at d14.
Angela Melitopoulos, d14 artist, Berlin, Germany.
Lala Meredith-Vula, d14 artist, Leicester, UK.
Naeem Mohaiemen, d14 artist, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Julia Martha Müller, d14 curatorial assistant.
Rosalind Nashashibi, d14 artist, London, UK.
Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, d14 curator at large, Berlin, Germany.
Brett Neilson, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia.
Viktor Neumann, d14 curatorial assistant Public Programs, Berlin, Germany.
Kettly Noël, d14 artist.
Rainer Oldendorf, d14 artist.
Nikolay Oleynikov, artist, d14 The Parliament of Bodies, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Neni Panourgia, Professor, d14 The Parliament of Bodies, Athens and New York.
Anna Papaeti, d14 Parliament of Bodies, Athens, Greece.
Eleanna Papathanasiadi, Assistant to the Office of d14 Artistic Director, Athens, Greece.
Verena Paravel, d14 artist.
Konstantinos Pittas, d14 venue coordinator, Athens and Cambridge.
Angelo Plessas, d14 artist, Athens, Greece.
Nathan Pohio, d14 artist, Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Alessandra Pomarico, d14 aneducation, New York/Italy.
Vijay Prashad, Tricontinental Institute, India/Brazil.
Paul B. Preciado, d14 curator of public programs, The Parliament of Bodies.
Prinz Gholam, d14 artists, Berlin/Beirut.
R.H. Quaytman, d14 artist, New York, USA
Roee Rosen, d14 artist.
Arin Rungjang, d14 artist, Bangkok, Thailand.
Lukas Rickli, d14 musician, Basel, Switzerland.
Ben Russell, d14 artist, Los Angeles, USA.
Ashley Hans Scheirl, d14 artist, Vienna/Berlin.
David Schutter, d14 artist, Chicago, USA.
Nilima Sheikh, d14 artist, Delhi, India.
Ahlam Shibli, d14 artist, Haifa_Gaza, Palestine.
Erzen Shkololli, d14 curatorial advisor, Prishtina & Tirana.
Mounira Al Solh, d14 artist.
Melina Spathari, d14 coordinator in Athens, head of music program, Athens, Greece.
Annie Sprinkle, d14 artist, San Francisco, USA.
Jorgina Stamogianni, d14 curatorial assistant, Public Programs, Athens, Greece.
Eva Stefani, d14 artist, Athens, Greece.
Beth Stephens, d14 artist, San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz, USA.
Vivian Suter, d14 artist, Panajachel, Guatemala.
Monika Szewczyk, d14 curator, Athens & Berlin.
Adam Szymczyk, d14 Artistic Director, Basel, Switzerland.
Marina Miliou Theocharaki, d14 curatorial assistant, ASFA liaison, Athens, Greece.
Adrian Trikas Pandis, d14 assistant coordinator, Greece
Katerina Tselou, assistant to d14 artistic director and curatorial advisor, Athens, Greece.
Ariuntugs Tserenpil, d14 artist, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia.
Dr. Jakob Ullmann, Naumburg/Saale, Germany.
Cecilia Vicuña, d14 artist, Santiago, Chile.
Lois Weinberger, dX and d14 artist.
Stanley Whitney, d14 artist, New York, USA.
Elisabeth Wild, d14 artist, Panajachel, Guatemala.
Zafos Xagoraris, d14 artist, Athens, Greece.
Sergio Zevallos, d14 artist, Lima & Berlin.
Arnisa Zeqo, d14 aneducation, Amsterdam, Netherland