Commenting Procedure on the Central Recommendations of the Organizational Development is Concluded

Last year's publication of the Final Report of the Organizational Development of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH conducted by Metrum Management GmbH included an opportunity to comment on the five central recommendations. Between December 21, 2023 and January 31, 2024 the public was invited to give their digital feedback.

The key recommendations for comment are as follows:

1. Retention of the Finding Committee with adjustments (page 22)
There should continue to be a Finding Committee for each documenta exhibition, which is appointed by the Supervisory Board on the proposal of the Management of documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH. This committee should no longer spill over into the governance of the exhibition and the process should be subject to just two optimizations: It should be set out in writing and the Management should commit to ensuring maximum diversity in its remit.

2. Development of two Codes of Conduct for documenta und Museum Fridericianum gGmbH and the Artistic Direction (page 24) The Code of Conduct of the gGmbH should describe the basic values guiding all actions of the gGmbH. One focus should be to "make it clear that it takes an unambiguous stance against anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of discrimination and will also use its influence to achieve this goal while respecting artistic freedom". The Code of Conduct of the Artistic Direction should describe the basic values of the Artistic Direction and contain passages that illustrate how it is ensured the exhibition curated by the Artistic Direction does not violate human dignity. Both Codes of Conduct should be treated as declarations of intent on an equal footing and oblige those involved to exchange views on the Codes of Conduct at an early stage in order to identify any differences and, where possible, to address potential conflicts in a productive manner. In accordance with Germany’s constitution or the German Basic Law, this structured approach is intended to take into account the balance between artistic freedom on the one hand and the duty of public cultural administration to avoid discrimination on the other.

3. Optimization of the structure of the Supervisory Board and establishment of a Scientific Advisory Board (page 27) The main responsibility for supervision is generally assumed by the Supervisory Board, while the Shareholders’ Assembly is generally limited to a few central tasks. Furthermore, the Supervisory Board will be reduced to five to nine members, who (with the exception of two) will be appointed equally by the two shareholders. The Federal Government is given a voting seat on the Supervisory Board and appoints the chair of the Scientific Advisory Board who will also be a member of the Supervisory Board. The Scientific Advisory Board to be established should comprise six or nine members from the artistic-curatorial field and advise the Management and the Supervisory Board.

4. Clarification of the tasks of the Management Board and Artistic Direction (page 29) The division of responsibilities between the Management and Artistic Direction should be regulated in a binding set of Rules of Procedure for the Management. Essentially, this division should make it clear that the Management does not take on any curatorial tasks, but bears overall responsibility for strategic, organizational, and financial issues, is responsible for protecting the values formulated in a Code of Conduct of the gGmbH, and represents these in dialogue with the Artistic Direction. If necessary, in extreme cases this can also mean the Management has the responsibility to distance itself from some artistic content without intervening in it itself.

5. Introduction of a Management Board (page 39) To ensure effective leadership and very good internal communication, in line with the new Organizational Chart, a Management Board for the gGmbH should be established. The Heads and Directors as well as the Management and Artistic Directions should be represented on the Management Board of the gGmbH.

The evaluation of the comments will follow.