Thursday, December 6, 2012

When Do We Get To Say No?

In 1987 Andes Serrano shocked (and disgusted) the world with his so-called piece of "art" named Piss Christ.  The Christian community (and other people) were outraged over this insult to their faith.

While what Andes Serrano did was disgusting, it is nothing compared to the latest outrage to people of faith.

Carl Michael von Hausswolff, a Swedish "artist" stole ashes of Holocaust victims from Majdanek concentration camp, mixed them with water and created a painting with them.
A Swedish artist has been accused of desecrating the bodies of Jewish Holocaust victims after it emerged that he used ashes taken from the crematoria at Majdanek concentration camp to paint a picture, the British Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, the artist, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, mixed the ashes from the infamous Nazi facility with water to compose a small painting of grey streaks. The work now hangs in a gallery in the Swedish city of Lund.

Salomon Schulman, a leading voice in Sweden's Jewish community who lost many relatives to the Holocaust, has condemned the painting as "revolting".

"Who knows," he wrote in a letter to a local newspaper quoted by the Telegraph. "Maybe some of the ashes originated from my relatives. No one knows where they were deported: all my mother's siblings and their children, and my grandparents.

"I will never go to this gallery and it as view the desecration of Jewish bodies," he added. "I am sickened by his work and obsession with necrophilia."

Von Hausswolff took the ashes during a 1989 visit to Majdanek, according to the Telegraph. During its 34 months in operation from 1941 to 1944, the camp claimed around 79,000 lives, the vast majority of them Polish Jews.

The artist said the ashes appeared to "contain the memories and the souls of people: people tormented and murdered by other people in the most viscous war of the 20th Century.”

Despite the scandal surrounding the painting, Martin Bryder, the owner of the Lund gallery, defended the decision to exhibit the work of art.

"Please come to the gallery, see the painting and judge for yourselves whether it's controversial," he said in an interview with the Polish News Agency.

"Schulman has already declared in the papers that he won't come and see it but if he did, perhaps he would have a different opinion,” said Bryder.

I am sure that Salomon Schulman and any other decent human being would feel the same.  Von Hausswolff had no right to:
  1. Take any ashes.
  2. Desecrate those ashes in a piece of "art work"
But will anyone in the "Art Community" condemn this action?  Of course not.  They will complain that what he is doing is perpetuating the "Myth" of the Holocaust.  And will von Hausswolff see any legal troubles for this?  Not by any European government.

When Serrano did his "Piss Christ" it was not the body of Christ he used.  It was a representation of Christ on the cross.  Von Hausswolff used the actual bodies of the victims in his "art".  Causing pain to the families of the victims.

But this is the new mentality of today.  To hell with anybody's feelings.  I will do what I want.  It is for art!  We have no morals.

It is a shame we cannot find a way to censure von Hausswolff or the owner of the gallery that it is hanging in.  One day justice will come to von Hausswolff, but not in the near future.

1 comment:

Alceste said...

That may be the most disgusting thing I've ever heard about in my life.

Forget about Holocaust victims, using any human remains to make a painting seems like a completely reprehensible thing; morally, mentally,'s sickening on so many levels. Then add the fact those people were killed in probably the greatest atrocity the world has ever could anyone think that's a good idea??
I did enjoy how the owner of the gallery said you should look at it first to determine if it's controversial, as if the controversy was about what was painted instead of how it was painted. It could be the most beautiful painting in the world, I'd still throw up on it after finding out it was made with human ashes!