Chris Dercon abruptly resigned from Berlin’s Volksbühne, ending his controversial tenure as director.
Dercon and Berlin’s Culture Senator Klaus Lederer agreed the embattled director should depart from the city’s cherished progressive performance space, according to a statement from public Berlin broadcaster RBB, which first reported the story on Friday. Criticism of Dercon, which began as soon as his appointment was announced in 2015, marred the former Tate director’s tenure at the Volksbühne. Opponents charged he was planning to take the beloved space in a more corporate direction and his debut program last month was met with a middling reception in the city. The debate often veered into personal attacks on Dercon, whose door was smeared with feces on a near daily basis in August of 2017, even before his official September start date. Weeks after Dercon did take the reigns, protesters occupied the performance space for six-days, with nearly 40,000 signing a petition in opposition to Dercon’s tenure. In announcing Dragon's departure, Lederer called the personal attacks “unacceptable”, reported DW, adding they were “unworthy and devoid of any culture.” Klaus Dörr, the Volksbühne’s managing director, will temporarily take charge of the institution until a permanent successor is found.