A work of art on Antifa was briefly removed from the German museum
A little drama unfolded at the art collections of Chemnitz in Germany around a politically charged work.
A work of Peng! Collective was removed by the German museum on Friday for making explicit claims about Antifa. The piece, titled Antifa – Myth and Truth, was part of theGregenwarten/PresencesShow. The work was about the horseshoe theory and how all major German political parties were complicit in it. The work even went so far as to explicitly name the parties, including the far-right Alternativ für Deutschland.
The “horseshoe theoryis a political theory that suggests far-left and far-right ideologies have more in common with each other than other ideologies closer to them in the spectrum. It’s a popular theory that often seeks to equate far-right groups (like neo-Nazis) with far-left groups (like Antifa). However, the theory has also been debunked due to its broad brushstrokes, selective comparisons, and lack of nuance.
After being briefly removed, it was allowed back into the exhibit after a panel was added to it. The sign said the institute did not reflect the views expressed in the work. Nika Blum, who represented the collective, admits that the institute asked to add the text if the work was to return to the exhibition. However, the German art magnate Frederic Bussmann suggested that names of political parties should also be removed to make the work more neutral. Bussmann is the director of Chemnitz Art Collections, which consists of four major art institutes – Museum am Theaterplatz, Schlossbergmuseum, Museum Gunzenhauser and Henry van de Velde Museum.
The Peng! Collective has appeared in art events like the Berlin Biennale and Manifesta. The “Gegenwarten / Presences”, which aimed to promote art on socio-political issues in the city of Chemnitz, will run until October 25.