Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Holy Saddam

It had to happen. Saddam has become a holy figure in Islam and can not me mocked. That, at least is the view of a Belgium town which feels that an art exhibit featuring the image of Saddam in a tank of green fluid (in resemblance of a work by Damien Hirst in which a shark was suspended in formaldehyde) is too shocking for their town. Amazingly they made the decision before the cartoon "atrocity".

The town mayor is worried that the art could shock people including Muslims. I don't know if it was the mayor or the BBC who felt it was necessary to include Muslims when speaking of people.
Let's face it. The ones the town is worried about offending are not the odd well-to-do Baathists summering in northern Europe. It is the far left anti-Americans Europeans who are still hoping for a successful insurgency. Or maybe this really is the case of small town hicks who feel that art should never be shocking or provocative.

I will grant that most "shocking" art is also vacuous and simplistic but it should be criticized based on its lack of content, not the fact that it shocks.
While I see some depth to this work, (the work which this work was based on was entitled
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living which seems to have something to do with Saddam's defense strategy) it seems far from shocking or interesting and since any suggestion of aesthetic value is laughable, what is the point?

And I really do wish he were wearing pants (shudder).


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