chinese art depicting human foetus head removed from museum in bern

xiao yu

kunstmuseum bern has removed the installation by xiao yu from its current exhibit, mahjong on chinese art, because parts of a human foetus were used in the making of the piece. this happened after a swiss journalist, member of the conservative and xenophobic political party svp/udc, had raised criminal charges against the museum. he claimed the piece was a depiction of violence, that it violated afterlife [totenfrieden?] and animal rights. [der bund article: in german]

the same piece was shown at the venice biennale in 1999 where nobody protested…
[as an aside: members of the same political party were already instrumental in accusing the hirschhorn exhibit in paris of political blunder, which directly lead to severe budget cuts in the swiss art grant institution pro helvetia. if we leave sports out maybe we should also start say art and politics don’t mix?]

edit: the museum has communicated that one of the reasons they removed the piece so quickly was because they had received a threatening phonecall from geneva from a radical islamist threatening violent attacks if they didn’t remove it.

About Jan Zuppinger

Jan Zuppinger has been writing this blog since 2002. He likes to grow vegetables. He likes to eat them too. He has opinions on everything, but sadly no one cares. Jan Zuppinger is not joking, just joking, he is joking, just joking, he's not joking. *click.