Monday, April 18, 2011

Sympathy for barbarism

Paris - A group of Christian fundamentalists [you get the feeling they toss the "f" word around without quite knowing what it means] armed with hammers and screwdrivers destroyed two artworks in an exhibition in the southern French city of Avignon at the weekend, one of which depicted a crucifix immersed in urine, French media reported Monday. ...

Civitas, a lobby group which says it aims to "re-Christianize France," called the piece "sacrilege vis-a-vis God and Catholics" and launched a petition for it to be removed from the exhibition at the residence housing the Yvon Lambert collection. 

On Saturday a group of around 500 people shouting Christian slogans demonstrated outside the building, Liberation reported. 

The following day four youths wearing sunglasses entered the building and surrounded two security guards stationed in front of the artwork, while others began hacking at it and another of Serrano's photographs, showing a nun meditating. [The nun isn't "meditating" ... she's masturbating.]

Culture Minister Frederic Mitterand denounced the incident as an "attack on the freedom of creation." [What's respect for the sensibilities of religious people compared to that?]

While "recognizing that the (Piss Christ) artwork could shock certain audiences," Mitterand said "any act of violence, destruction and intolerance is unacceptable." [But committing an act of sacrilege against a major religious symbol doesn't count as "intolerance", y'know, because Christians aren't a minority ... oh wait, we are talking about France, right?] ...

Eric Mezil, the director of the Lambert collection, said he would leave the shattered artworks hanging so that the public could "appreciate the barbarity committed by extremists." [We do appreciate it. Thanks!]
I have to agree with art historian Liz Lev, who told CNA, 
 While violent destruction isn’t the answer for much of anything, when a work of art is of such provocation that it offends ones faith – be that Islam, Judaism or Christianity – then it is, to some extent, an act of conscience on the part of the faithful to avoid seeing his or her God denigrated in this fashion. I mean a jar of the artist’s own urine with Christ in it? What does one really expect is going to happen?  What’s the point of such a piece if not provocation? What else did the artist want to create if not such a reaction? In a way, this is probably what the artist wanted all along.
 Exactly. While I would like very much to cheer the "Christian fundamentalists" who wrecked that blasphemous piece of crap, in the end it didn't do much except feed the narcissistic self-pity of the artistic community. Doubtless we'll see replays of the "Christians destroyed the Library at Alexandria" meme pretty quickly.


  1. "Doubtless we'll see replays of the "Christians destroyed the Library at Alexandria" meme pretty quickly."

    Don't forget book burnings, witch trials and the imprisonment of Galileo.

  2. How could I? Jen Fulweiler had a pretty good post about the "Christians are anti-learning" meme; would that I still had the link for it. It's a "damned if we do, damned if we don't" situation ... if we don't stick up for our sacred symbols, who will? I keep hoping a Catholic artist will break out of the pack and become the next big thing; however, the artistic community's tastes seem to be permanently set on nihilism.