Tuesday, July 25, 2006
When Art Attacks
A piece of inflatable installation art in Durham has become detached from its moorings, killing two people.
We ask: should more be done prevent attacks on society by works of ‘art’? – and remember some notable dates in the history of ‘When Art Attacks’.
1323: the Synod of Cortona hastily reimposes the Catholic Church’s ban on the colour yellow after a premature liberalisation leads to rampaging yellow-toned Virgin Mary altar pieces in the streets of Naples.
1599: Caravaggio self-portrait found guilty of sexual harassment of Vatican altar boys and innovatively sentenced to ‘not hanging’ (Caravaggio retaliates with his Well Hung series of 1601, revolutionising modern painting-hanging techniques).
1898: Giant man-eating water lily, disgruntled at depiction in previous Impressionist canvas, conceals itself inside Monet impasto, smothers four.
1911: Cubist exhibition shut down after Juan Gris’s Man With Saxophone repeatedly pokes viewers in the shins with a pointed stick to soundtrack of badly out-of-tune jazz.
2003: Marina Abramovic’s ‘No One Leaves the Gallery Before They’ve Swallowed a Razor Blade’ exhibition runs into trouble when Tate Modern’s air conditioning fails and three people are hospitalized for heat exhaustion.