Following Chris Dercon’s sudden resignation as director of Berlin’s Volksbühne theater last Friday, details of a fractured and increasingly tenuous behind-the-scenes relationship with city officials have emerged.

According to German daily Tagesspiegel, Dercon and Berlin’s culture senator Klaus Lederer mutually agreed to end the former Tate Modern director tenure as head of the theater after just one year. But new details emerging in the German press suggest that the decision may have been more one-sided that previously thought.

On Monday, when the culture committee of Berlin’s city senate convened for a regular scheduled session on Monday, members voted to amend the agenda to address the elephant in the room: How did Dercon’s directorship go so spectacularly wrong?

Lederer said there had been mounting evidence since November that Dercon’s leadership was becoming problematic, citing a lack of vision and escalating costs at the theater. It became clear that the former museum director’s plan to blend expensive productions with high-profile guest appearances did not arouse much public interest. “There was no initiative or ideas from Dercon about what to do,” Lederer told Tagesspiegel. “That was decisive, not just the financial position. Bad numbers, that can happen, but that’s not why we ended the directorship.”  Read more