hairtrigger tempers, failed art, and addled thinking
Post #193 • January 18, 2004, 5:30 PM • 12 Comments
It is my wish that the problems in the Middle East end in peace, not fire and death. I also expect political artists to know what they're talking about. It therefore discourages me to hear today that an Israeli diplomat misinterpreted a bad piece of art by clueless artists in Stockholm and went apeshit over it.
Israel's ambassador to Sweden said Saturday that he had physically attacked an art exhibit at a Stockholm museum because it "glorified suicide bombers." The incident a day earlier has created a diplomatic flap between the countries.
The ambassador, Zvi Mazel, was among several hundred guests invited to the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm on Friday for an exhibit linked to a coming international conference on genocide sponsored by Sweden. Israel is one of the scheduled participants.
The piece that enraged the ambassador, "Snow White and the Madness of Truth," was in the museum's courtyard and featured a large basin filled with red fluid. A boat floated on top carrying a photo of a smiling Hanadi Jaradat, a woman who became a suicide bomber, killing 22 people in an Oct. 4 attack on a restaurant in Haifa. The work was created by Dror Feiler, an expatriate Israeli artist living in Sweden, and his Swedish wife, Gunilla Skold Feiler.
"When I saw it, I became a bit emotional," Mr. Mazel said in a telephone interview from Stockholm. "There was the terrorist, wearing her perfect makeup and floating on the blood of my people."
He said he had ripped out electrical wires lighting the exhibit and tossed a spotlight into the basin. ...
Mrs. Feiler told Expressen, a Swedish newspaper, that the work was not intended as "a glorification of the suicide bomber." Instead, she said, "I wanted to show how incomprehensible it is that a mother of two - who is a lawyer no less - can do such a thing," apparently conflating the Haifa bomber with an attack carried out on Wednesday by another Palestinian woman.
Man. I'm going down to the studio for a while.