GALLERY CLOSES AFTER THREATS

By Gabriel Thy • Art Theory • 8 Oct 2008

The following entry is adapted from an earlier quick comment I posted on another website earlier this year after it reported the news that a Berlin gallery had temporarily closed an exhibition of satirical works by a group of Danish artists after six Muslim youths threatened violence unless one of the posters depicting the Kaaba shrine in Mecca was removed.

IT’S ABOUT TIME a few extraordinary Western artists step up to the plate to take a swing or two at this crucial issue. This is a very serious issue in terms of defending our own culture against the egregious assaults made on it by ruthless newcomers with their strange gods and ideas, and since I work in the arts myself, a painter, I know that few artists are tackling the Islamic problem with anything more than fearless silence.

In fact, just the opposite position rules. I’d surmize that 95% of the art being created today in this most political of cities, and I speak from the underground art movement, is frivolous and redundant, lost in fairy tales and harmless charm, and anything remotely “controversial” is dismissed. The so-called controversial art is hardly controversial any more because how many times can Christianity or homophobia or the president be attacked in the generic way that artists depict their hyperventilated disgust with religion, sexual mores, or politics, and it still be new, iconoclastic, or controversial? But with all the world in flames and blood, hovering at the brink of financial crisis, most of the “ruthless honesty” work is anti-American at worst, anti-war (pseudo-lofty) at best, and nothing is ever presented that even hints of global incrimination due the jihadists and their copious allies in shepherd’s clothing.

But what can be expected otherwise? The art world, unlike the more recently abducted halls of lower and higher education, has long been the high-browed bastion of the liberal cognoscente, and today’s system of wine-tasting galleries and its stiltifying air of mass dementia is now vigorously geared to the boilerplate Left.

Scandal is often the fast track in the whirl to “make” an artist, but history seems to prove that this model holds only when breaking “preferred” molds.

Let’s hope Berlin doesn’t bend knee to this Islamic nonsense compounded by thuggery. It will only encourage more outrage. Don’t we all deserve better than this?

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