Last Sunday, Palm Sunday, three French Christians went to a museum and smashed the shit out of the famous photo of Christ dipped in piss.
Last Sunday, Palm Sunday, three Christians went to a French museum and smashed the shit out of the famous photo of Jesus Christ going for a swim in an American artist’s urine.
Listen: I say, GOOD for them.
You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m used to Muslims who, when a cartoonist sketches a picture of Mohammed, sentence 50 women to death by stoning for googling it. Obviously I’m being facetious — they’d be stoned to death for googling ANYTHING.
The Piss Christ Vandals, in comparison, were fairly measured: They weren’t trolling abortion clinics, waiting to murder doctors; they weren’t hurting anyone -– they just went and bashed the shit out of something to make a point.
Their Malcolm X-ish, Johnny Rotten act is only revolting to the intellectual community because of its context: If these were Palestinians smashing a statue of Golda Meir, you’d say it was cool.
These guys were tasteful –- they didn’t pick a work of art that you can really DESTROY -– it’s a photograph, a Photoshop file: A curator at the museum can go pull it up onto his Macbook, and as long as that Jew-hating cheese expert gets the resolution right, he’ll have it re-printed and replaced before you can say Knights Templar.
The fact is, the action these brave and dedicated people took is causing debate, which can never be a bad thing. Our knee-jerk reaction as artsy liberal fucks is to say, “Ahhh shit, more uneducated, evolution-denying rednecks blindly destroying something they don’t understand.”
But to dismiss their action thusly is to deny its net effect -– if the point of “Piss Christ” is to shock and provoke, then aren’t these guys just adding to its purpose and rejuvenating its aura?
When was the last time this many people thought of “Piss Christ” and considered the issues it evokes?
The point of any worthwhile piece of modern art is to make us think — and the vandals’ performance is doing just that, while extending the effectiveness of the “Piss Christ” itself.
One thing I AM disappointed in is the artist Serrano’s myopic reaction to this event. Dude, don’t act like you’re Michelangelo and these guys broke an arm off the David; your work is meant to shock and provoke, and you’d do well to remember the spirit with which you first put this forth.
From his whining, it sounds like the last two decades have left him drunk on his own kool-aid, like he’s a hero of the stuffy art cognoscenti that once considered his work to be as worthless as the piss it was printed on.
This rebellious, punk rock attack was great for his brand, and it rejuvenated the spirit of his message. I think they did the world a favor.