death as art
death as art
There's art and then there's art. Stacy has a lively discussion going on at her blog about the wretched statue that sat at Rockefeller Center yesterday. I won't reiterate my thoughts about it here, you can read them there.
Now comes Gail Haffern, an New Zealand artist who sees the September 11 attacks as "wonderful."
"Four planes? I thought it was an extraordinary idea to do this, somebody declaring war against the mightiest country that has ever existed with one of its own peacetime machines. Looking at this, and being an artist, I thought what if this had been a performance piece and Osama bin Laden had declared himself an artist, how would the world have seen it then?....
"I'm saying, step away from blame. How are we to act if we act only according to blame? So many of us just think and squeal, think and squeal. This act is done and you can't fault the execution of the act. It was perfect, extraordinarily clever."
Well, generally speaking, performance artists don't normally kill thousands of people for their art, so the question of what we would have thought had bin Laden been an artist is pretty much moot.
Blame...accusation...how can we be free of these things when thinking of that day? Of course there is someone to blame. Of course there are people to accuse. Would you view a typical street murder the same way? Would you say that we should look at it without blame and accusation and perhaps look at it as a wonderful piece of performance art?
So why, when thousands of people are killed at once at the hands of a hateful, sick group of militants, should we not place blame or accuse?
[Haffern] pulls out a centrefold [of a book about the Trade Center], the towers bathed in sun like two pieces of burnished gold. "Playboy, eat your heart out," she says. "Look at this for aesthetics," before turning to pages of the buildings coming down, falling bodies twisting through the air.
Maybe I am too dense to get it. Perhaps I am culturally illiterate or the meaning of what is art escapes me. I do not look at people leaping to their death and see a lesson in aesthetics.
Haffern created a sculpture to commemorate the events of September 11.
Small signs within the [sculpture] display words such as "No Sides", Not False", "Not Equal", while a cluster of 25 polished aluminium blocks beneath it also have words on them in gold leaf: Pentagone, Chequemate, and so on.
"The installation is definitely not a political statement - it asks the viewer to take a new position free of accusation and prejudice to view the acts of September 11 with a sense of amazement...."
Right now I am viewing this artist with a sense of horrified amazement, tinged with disgust and disdain.
update: Stacy and I have decided to take the first plane out to New Zealand, find this woman and throw her out of the window of a very tall building. Then we will record the act on film strictly for its aesthetic value.
link via instapundit