kunstmuseum bern caught in a lie?

xiao yu the scandal surrounding the removed foetus exhibit took an almost tragic turn yesterday when a clumsy museum director frehner was opening the “debate” last night at kunstmuseum bern. quickly it became clear that he was unwilling to admit any of his mistakes and his pleads for the cause of free art seemed almost pathetic in the light of the recent turns of events.

informed circles have told me yesterday that the bomb threats from “islamists” that the museum did in fact receive – i was still unsure how real these calls actually were, but now i believe at least that part – were relatively harmless, but got clearly used as a pretext to remove the piece while trying to keep some dignity in front of the public eye. yesterday it also became clear very quick that the “round table discussion” was not deserving of that name as a very biased selection of speakers was presented that only defended one point of view, the one saying that de riedmatten’s complaints were unsubstantial. on the other hand frehner’s substantial mistakes in the chain of events were never admitted.

frehner and his team should have found out if the exhibit consisted in fact of a human foetus before showing the piece (a fact that has been widely known since 1999 when the piece was shown at venice biennale) – in that part of his argumentation de riedmatten (who deposited the complaint with the prosecutor) had and has a point. frehner then very early on made a statement, that he always assumed it was “a fake”, and if in fact it was a human foetus it had nothing to do in the exhibition.

yesterday he very much looked like a guy caught in a lie… a very dumb guy caught in a lie.

i think that this extremely relevant piece of art should never have been removed from the exhibition. that is a scandal! however the way communication with media and the general public were handeled by kunstmuseum bern in general and by frehner in particular are now almost equally as scandalous as the original situation.

all the qualified staffers of the kunstmuseum have left or are in the process of leaving because of frehner and now this….

time for frehner to go!

the (kaywa) blog that they set up for this, freiheitderkunst.ch, does not change a thing… btw. quite symbolically comments are not even turned on! they did promise that the audio of the evening will be made available there.

swissinfo:
Museum withdraws controversial foetus exhibit
Art collector defends controversial exhibit

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.