Following the revelation of the letter, which Documenta deemed to be “clearly anti-Semitic”, Hoskote willingly resigned on November 12. In his resignation letter, Hoskote denounced any accusations of being anti-Semitic, saying “I have been written about with harshness and condescension” and that he feels he has “been subjected to the proceedings of a kangaroo court.”
On November 16, the remaining four members of the committee—Gong Yan, Simon Njami, Kathrin Rhomberg, and María Inés Rodríguez—announced that they, too would resign. In a letter co-signed by the group, they said, “The dynamics of the last few days, with their unchallenged media and public discrediting of our colleague Ranjit Hoskote, which forced him to resign from the Finding Committee, make us very doubtful if this prerequisite for any coming edition of documenta is currently given in Germany.”
“Art requires a critical and multi-perspective examination of its diverse forms and contents to be able to resonate and develop its transformative capacity," the letter continues. "Categorically, one sided reductions and over-simplifications of complex contexts threaten to nip any such examination in the bud.”
While the group understands Germany’s history and its need for distinct social and political responsibilities, they also stated that this awareness of “special responsibilities can run the risk of being misused for opinion politics in order to suppress undesirable approaches and their broad and open discussion right from the start.”
In response to the resignations, Documenta said in a release that they “respect this decision" and thanked "all those involved for their dedication.” Now, Documenta will work to restructure the selection process before it can begin once again.
The resignations are the latest in a series of debates around Israel and Gaza that have roiled the art world in recent weeks. Artforum’s editor in chief David Velasco was fired in late October for publishing a letter in support of Palestinian liberation, and the artist Ai Weiwei’s show at Lisson Gallery in London was canceled, as reported by The Art Newspaper, over a message on X in which he stated his views about the Israel-Hamas conflict.