Curator Who Shaped a Global View of Contemporary Art Is Leaving His Post

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  1. triumph

    triumph Silver Meritorious Patron

    NY Times
    Curator Who Shaped a Global View of Contemporary Art Is Leaving His Post
    At the Haus der Kunst, Mr. Enwezor drew acclaim for “Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965,” an effort to tell a global narrative of art in the two decades after World War II. Established names like Jackson Pollock and Frank Stella hung alongside artists from Iran, Mozambique, China and Mexico.
    Mr. Enwezor’s tenure at the Haus der Kunst was tainted by a bizarre scandal involving a human resources manager who pressured employees to join the Church of Scientology, which is strictly monitored by the German authorities, though not illegal. The museum also faced funding problems, and in 2017 it appointed a managing director to lead the museum alongside Mr. Enwezor as artistic director.

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  2. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Mismanagement, and a Scientology Scandal, Blamed in Munich Museum Chief’s Ouster.

    New York Times: Mismanagement, and a Scientology Scandal, Blamed in Munich Museum Chief’s Ouster

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    An in-house scandal in 2017 revealed that the museum was under surveillance by the intelligence services for harboring Scientologists in its ranks might have seemed bizarre to outsiders. It caused a small uproar in Bavaria, where Scientology is considered a threat to democracy and where it is illegal for Scientologists to work in government or for state-funded organizations. Three Scientologists were fired, and the flap exposed fissures between Mr. Enwezor and some members of his staff.

    “Initially, I was baffled by it,” Mr. Enwezor said in a telephone interview. “But I think it’s very serious.” He added, “I know art is subversive and all of that, but not at that level that we should have had the equivalent of the F.B.I. watching us.”

    Mr. Enwezor and the supervisory board of the museum were accused of not acting quickly enough after discovering that Scientologists were on the staff. Employees had repeatedly complained about a human resources contractor, who some said hired other Scientologists to work in the museum, but had not seen management take any action. A group of them formed a workers’ council to protest the situation and sent a letter to the supervisory board accusing “the executive level” of tolerating “gross abuses.”

    According to the Munich newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, workers also complained that Mr. Enwezor was distant and did not speak German. Some observers wondered how he could be an effective artistic director while curating the Venice Biennale in 2015 — no small task. For his part, Mr. Enwezor still wonders whether the furor surrounding the Scientologists was part of a strategy on behalf of some on his team to “bring change about within the organization,” as he put it.

    Against the backdrop of the Scientology scandal, the Haus der Kunst was struggling with its budget, as it had been for years. In April, the museum hired Bernhard Spies to sort out its finances. In an interview with The Art Newspaper, Mr. Spies blamed the museum’s current 500,000-euro deficit on management mistakes made during Mr. Enwezor’s tenure.

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