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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Wanna die for some guy's art?

Then this project, my friend, is for YOU:
The prizewinning artist Gregor Schneider, enfant terrible of the German cultural scene, is looking for a volunteer who is willing to die for his – that is, Mr Schneider’s – art.

He wants someone whose dying hours will be spent in an art gallery with the public admiring the way the light plays on the flesh of a person gasping for the last breath.

Politicians and curators are in a state of uproar about Mr Schneider’s plans. The 39-year-old artist has been concerned with death for much of his career. He gained critical acclaim for a sculpture, Hannelore Reuen, of a dead woman. He has been hatching his current idea since 1996, and now has a sympathetic pathologist and art collector to help to find a candidate who wants to become a work of art in the final days of his or her life.

“The dying person would determine everything in advance, he would be the absolute centre of attention,” said Mr Schneider. “Everything will be done in consultation with the relatives, and the public will watch the death in an appropriately private atmosphere.”

...

The Schneider project, however, seems to have gone too far. It is being compared with watching executions in the United States. The influential gallery owner Beatrix Kalwa spoke for many German curators who rule out the idea of giving space to Mr Schneider’s artistic endeavour. “Existential matters like death, birth or the act of reproduction do not belong in a museum,” she said. “There is a fundamental difference between portraying these acts in an art form, and showing them in actuality.”

The head of the German hospice foundation that provides care for the terminally ill, Eugen Brysch, said: “This is pure voyeurism and makes a mockery of those who are dying.” But Mr Schneider, who feigned his own death as part of an exhibition in Germany in 2000, argues that death is already undignified and that his aim is to restore its grace.

This guy is a prize-winning artist? Here's an example of his "art":



Modern art is just so great, isn't it? You got people putting crucifixes in urine, covering the Virgin Mary with crap and vaginas, a naked chocolate and "anatomically correct" Jesus, starving dogs, attempting to abort themselves, and now letting someone die in a museum -- and it's all called "art".

Death is not something for people to put on display. Some things deserve respect, and a person dying is one of them.

4 comments:

Wayne said...

Argh. I have a very explicit and hateful comment I want to post here, but I'm afraid some Lunatic Lefty will claim that I'm inciting violence against the "Artist", and I'll wind up with SWAT knocking on my door...

Amanda said...

Pretty sure you can't abort yourself.

mkfreeberg said...

I'd really like to know the answer to this one:

How come the same folks who, on this issue, insist there's nothing wrong with calling this degenerate crap "art" are the same ones who, on other issues, have such thin skins? And insist others have equally thin skins? To the point where they ridicule anybody else who doesn't have equally thin skins?

And make a point of showcasing how incredibly thin their skins are.

Trent Lott saying something to make a hundred-year-old man feel good on his birthday comes to mind...although other examples abound.

It's like their brains are flipped around. They're offended by non-offensive things, and un-offended by truly offensive things. I have to doubt you can get that way without putting a lot of effort into it.

hiraethin said...

Sadly this artist has, for want of a better expression, painted himself into a corner. I presume he has for some time pursued this kind of art - and while I think it is art I wouldn't cross the street to look at it - and he has become accustomed to a certain amount of notoriety. The good/bad attention thing, you know. He could go back to painting still life, if he was ever any good at something that required technical ability as well as passion, but the odds are nobody would notice him if he did... and so he will never quit. He is forever trapped in a cage of his own making, trying to create new ways to shock a world which frankly is tired of shock and would prefer to have a nice quiet cup of tea and a lie down.