Attack on ‘blasphemous’ art work fires debate on role of religion in France

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: In the 1960s in the United States there was a TV show called To Tell the Truth where you were supposed to figure out during 20 minutes who was the correct person out of three guests with the same name. At the end of the show the commentator stated: “Will the real Mr. X please stand up.” Figuring out how secular countries like France are is a bit of a retake of that famous show.

If the True Finns used their anti-immigration stand to lure votes in Sunday’s election, the same shameful opportunism is being used elsewhere by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to improve his election bid in 2012.

The article below shows how religion and politics don’t mix.

Controversy has followed artist Andres Serrano ever since he placed in 1987 a crucifix in his own urine (Piss Christ) and photographed it. His work has been the target of attacks by Catholic fundamentalist.

Serrano states that Piss Christ is a statement on the misuse of religion.


By Angelique Chrisafis

• Intruders vandalise photo day after Christian protest
• Exhibitor blames Sarkozy speech for inflaming issue

When New York artist Andres Serrano plunged a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and photographed it in 1987 under the title Piss Christ, he said he was making a statement on the misuse of religion.

Read whole story.

  1. JusticeDemon

    Compared to stories about abortion clinic bombings and Qur’an burnings, this story is not quite so easy to dismiss as the behaviour of a lunatic fringe. I can readily picture at least a very sizeable minority of French people viewing this story over the morning coffee and croissants and thinking quite right too!

    I wonder how a certain Roman Catholic party leader would respond to such an incident at Kiasma? Of course, that’s on the assumption that this institution hasn’t already been turned into a flea market selling plastic-framed Gallen-Kallela prints at 50 cents a pop. 😉

    It’s not so long ago that Finland finally relaxed its main laws restricting Sunday trading, and it’s fair to say in general that traditional religious symbolism and practices are at least fairly significant in the lives of most people. ET is still a minority choice of parents for their children at school, for example.

  2. Allan Beck

    Wasnt there in Finland an artist that had a crucified pig (more like a cartoon painting of it) in early 70’s charged on blasphemy? He also made a coat-of-arms with the pig in place of the lion. That was outrageous and scandalous at the time. These days some old ladies might mumble.