Thursday, September 01, 2005

Baby's Head Back on Display

When the Berne (Switzerland) Fine Arts Museum decided to toss to a panel of "experts" the controversy over a visting art exhibit -- an exhibit that featured an unborn child's head gruesomely attached to a seagull's torso -- one could have easily guessed the outcome. And so, yes...the exhibit is back, complete with testimonials from said "experts" in theology, art, philosophy, media and who knows what else.

The exhibit is also back with greatly added media attention, causing some to believe the temporary removal was more about publicity than it was about sensitivity to the public.

Critics had complained of the exhibit's disrespectful treatment of a person. The response?

Under Swiss law a foetus is not considered to be a person, Studer [Peter Studer, President of the Swiss Press Council and one of the panel of evaluating "experts"] said, so it was not appropriate to speak of the peace of the dead being disturbed...

"One always has to make the distinction between taste, ethics and law," Studer concluded. "The opponents of this exhibit have not made this distinction."

Illegality? No. But Studer's claim that there are not distinctions of taste or ethics in this matter is simply silly. This part baby, part bird monstrosity is but another example of decadence and/or political statement masquerading as art. There's no talent needed here; no skillful creativity; no patient genius working with stone or canvas. There is only shock value and pompous posing; ala the legendary Emperoror's new clothes.

And the only ones that can't admit to the joke are the timid, the duped and the fellow con "artists" who are hep to the gag.