Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Swedish National Socialists And Christian Democrats Protest Exhibition Of Andres Serrano's Degenerate Art In Alingsås, Sweden

Apparently those who are running a degenerate art exhibit featuring Andres Serrano's photographic filth didn't get the message in October 2007 when four Swedish nationalists took direct action against an exhibit in the Swedish city of Lund. This incident was discussed HERE.

Now they've done it again, this time in the Swedish town of Alingsås, 50 kilometres north-northeast of Gothenburg. Christian Democrats in Alingsås, assisted by the Nationalsocialistisk Front (NSF), which has been distributing flyers protesting against the exhibition, want to close down the History of Sex exhibition at the town's municipal art gallery. In one of its flyers, the NSF writes, "As a resident of Alingsås you are contributing to this exhibition as it is the council that is behind it. This is your tax money being used to show pornography," The Liberal Party, usually allied with the Christian Democrats, has taken the opposite point of view, saying that art should not be censored. Full story by The Local, which provides an English translation of Swedish news.

The photos, by American photographer Andres Serrano, depict scenes including a man performing oral sex on himself and a woman clutching a horse's penis. Pictured above left, Serrano's most infamous creation, the "Piss Christ", a crucifix immersed in a jar of urine.

The photos were previously exhibited in Lund, where they were vandalized by "neo-Nazis". As in Lund, the exhibition in Alingsås is closed to children under 15 and visitors are informed about the explicit nature of the photos before entering the gallery.

Despite these measures, Christian Democrats in Alingsås are livid that the pictures are on display at all. They view the decision by the gallery to give space to the exhibition as a sign of "a remarkable lack of judgment". In a letter to local paper Alingsås Tidning, Christian Democrats on the council have demanded the gallery "take down the pictures and end the exhibition". "Freedom of speech - absolutely, but where is the judgment," they ask.

Lennart Karlsson, the Christian Democrat representative on the council's culture committee, refused to give an interview to news agency TT. However, the Liberal chairman of the committee, Lars Lundgren, said he was keen to protect free speech. "Politicians should not decide which pictures should be shown or which books should be read. They should stay out of it, regardless of which party they belong to".

Wikipedia tells us more not only about Andres Serrano, but about his infamous "Piss Christ" creation. Here's an excerpt, illustrating his obsession and preoccupation with bodily fluids:

Many of Serrano's pictures involve bodily fluids in some way—depicting, for example, blood (sometimes menstrual blood), semen (for example, "Blood and Semen II" (1990)) or mother's milk. Within this series are a number of works in which objects are submerged in bodily fluids. Most famous of these is "Piss Christ" (1987), a photograph of a plastic crucifix behind a glass of his own urine. This caused great controversy when first exhibited. Serrano, alongside other artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe, became a figure whom some attacked for producing offensive art while others defended him in the name of artistic freedom (see the American "culture wars" of the 1990s).

In September 2007, a German cardinal came under fire for saying that when art became estranged from worship, culture became degenerate. In today's Germany, using the term "degenerate art" is considered glorifying the National Socialist era. Hitler's regime took vigorous action to identify and suppress degenerate art.

There is no place in civil society for public display of people auto-fellating themselves or grabbing horse's genitals. This is why the white nationalist community reacted with such revulsion against Kevin Alfred Strom's plea of guilty to possession of child pornography.


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Anonymous said...

Um, what about Freedom of speech?

Isn't that something you cry about so often? Last time I checked the U.S Constitution it is clear that religion is fair game, as it should be.

Stop romanticizing religion - the dark ages, based on religious oppression in the name of Christ, were so horrible it is not funny.

So you're more in favor of a 'selective' free speech I take it?


bushranger said...

Dear anonymous

If it is a matter of free speech why is the exhibition not open to all ages?

Surely the fact that it isn't open to all ages infers that the exhibition is more about the shock value than "free speech".