Tuesday, 28 September 2010


"Drawings of Imagined Assassinations Stoke Controversy at the Sao Paulo Biennial

Brazilian artist Gil Vicente caused a stir this weekend at the Sao Paulo Art Biennial, as his charcoal renderings of the violent assassinations of world leaders went on display, despite protests from some political groups. The figures include U.S. president George W. Bush, former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, the Queen of England, and Pope Benedict XVI, all of whom Vicente has said should be punished for various crimes.

In the drawings, George W. Bush kneels before his assassin, his face turned toward a gun. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Solva is shown tied to a chair with a knife to his throat. The Pope raises hands in protest or appeal, while the charcoal Vicente stares down the length of the gun at his victim. The Queen stands in the foreground of her portrait, seemingly unaware of the man with the pointed weapon standing behind her. Other figures depicted in the works include Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The series, called "Enemies," is meant to give voice to the justice due to world leaders who have been directly or indirectly responsible for alleged crimes, the Telegraph reports. "Because they kill so many other people, it would be a favor to kill them, understand?" he told the paper. "Why don't people in power and in the elite die?"

Even though the Brazilian Bar Association ordered the removal of the drawings, arguing that the art encourages violent crime, the organizers of the biennial have defended Vicente’s right to exhibit his work and have replied to the demands in a statement. "A fundamental quality of our institution is curatorial independence and freedom of expression," they wrote. "The works exhibited do not reflect the opinion of the curators nor of the Biennial Foundation."

The works, which hang prominently in a hall of Sao Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park, are valued collectively at $260,000." ARTINFO


No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...