« The 1st MAO Art Contest | Main | An Evening with Duane Michals & ICP »

January 05, 2006

25 Peaces - An Art Controversy

You might expect to see this on FOX News!! But in Europe, The land of Nude Beaches??

The BBC reported the other day of a public outrage over an Austrian Public Art project.  Starting on Dec 27th, the project called 25 Peaces included 150 Roadside Billboards by artists celebrating 60 years of the Austrian Republic, and 10 years as members of the EU.  (one Additional Story from Spiegel)

Needless to say... The EU has it's own version of Archie Bunker "Jesse Helms", Austria's right-wing Freedom Party Heinz-Christian Strache, who's obtuse strong objections have unwittingly just catapulted helped the careers of 2 artists into the public eye.  It sounds like some public tax payer money, 500,000 Euro, was spent on this project.  It's the political Holy Trinity.. sex, art and tax money... a right-wing lightning rod!

Spanish Artist Carlos Aires Produced this poster!

A 25peace_3someBillboard showing Queen Elizabeth II, George Bush, and Jacques Chirac  masked participants partaking in a little menage-a-trois. Hmmm.. is that our bush on top? No?

25peace_panties The second Artist is Tonja Ostojic from Serbia (who?).  Her Billboard shows a topless woman wearing a pair of Euro Blue panties sporting the EU Flag's golden star circle insignia in a highly suggestive location.

Both are provocative statements of the success of the EU, and a european view of The UK and US.   I the guess such roadside hanky panky may be just a bit too much for the dull conservative Austrian public.. Both Vienna Sandwich Billboards are to be taken down. Too Bad...I thought it might actually get those Austrian AutoBahn drivers to slow down for once!


       But you just have to wonder.. does narrow minded political attention still bring the doe-rae-mee, bling  notoriety artists like Andreas Serrano, Chris Ofili, and Mapplethorpe received?  Are the careers of artists Carlos Aires, and Tonja Ostojic going to rise significantly worldwide from this???  Or has the Modern Art world become fat, dumb & happy, comfortably numb less sensitive to the joy of a good old fashion Conservative Backlash?


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I imagine their careers will blossom as a result. The outrage seems pretty silly, especially given the Ostojic's reference, Gustave Courbet's "Origin of the World." Still, my mother saw this report on the BBC news when I was home for Christmas and became quite upset about "public pornography." If a left-leaning mom finds such work too much to handle, I suppose the outrage shouldn't surprise me.

I was surprised to read it.. I always think Europeans are more comfortable with sexual images in public (aaah.. Amsterdam!!) than puritanical Americans.. Sad to see it's not the case.

it's austria ...they'll be symposium stars.

People, come on! I have no idea what kind of impressions you have of Europeans, but even in Europe large posters, displayed in public, with naked people having group sex aren't well liked - and that has little do with puritanism (even though I'm not surprised to find the English most outraged). And my feeling is that most Europeans don't like the images for the very simple reason that they're simply tasteless.

the images are good, as far as they go.
they have revealed neurotic misanthrophy among the population.

The comments to this entry are closed.