Monday, February 16, 2015

Art, Blasphemy, Consequences

A Moslem bandit struck in Copenhagen, first at a café Saturday hosting a debate with a cartoonist (Lars Vilks) who had drawn Mahomet a few years ago, and then Sunday morning outside a synagogue. Amongst fanatical avengers in Mohammedanism there lingers death warrants for cartoonists [extra victims at gratis]. A question arises why cartoonists, and not so much other artists? Cartoonists are political. Naked satire is their forté.

Another question is why artistic affronts upon Mohammedanism are revenged by blood to-day, and those against other religions are met only by complaint and boycott? In the United States obscene art meant to attack religion, and provoke Christians in particular, has had a few notable examples in recent years. They provoke notoriety (anger), they surely intended, but not violence (and seldom vandalism). The infraction upon Mohammedan sensibility is very low [any pictorial representation can be deadly (although Persian, and Turkic Mohammedanism does have artistic depictions of Mahomet)], and the penalty enacted can be very high, and has no statute of limitations. In non-Mohammedan countries, Moslems can attack at any time. In Mohammedan countries no one dares to make an affront. False and invented claims of blasphemy bring death to the accused. Arguments to make things relative and equivalent are facile, weak, and often dishonest. The measuring scales are different.

Another sort of provocation was when Avdei Ter-Oganian came to Moscow's Manezh exhibition hall. Performance art is when someone physically engages in an activity in what is proclaimed 'art'.  Just recently i have read about him. "Desecration of Holy Objects" or "Young Atheist" consisted of him using an axe on pictures of icons December 4th 1998. He did not get to finish. Other artists had their performance with him as the subject curtailing Ter-Oganian's show.

Ter-Oganian left Russia to escape the law, which accused him of national and religious hatred. Some people have defended him as an artist victimised. As in much modern art, and post modern art, much of the rationale is invested in explaining the concept, which is not not evident in the 'art' itself.  Ter-Oganian's vision was interrupted and his free speech was not allowed. Ter-Oganian provoked, artistically not so much, politically and culturally greatly. It had been only a short time since atheistic communism had fallen in Russia. Under the Soviet régime real icons, and real people who possessed them were destroyed. Art (sacred art) and human lives were destroyed and martyred. This was done legally by the state in hatred of Christianity and Christians. Many of those who killed, and ordered to kill were Jewish. Their atheism was also hatred of Russians and other Christians. The little i found on Ter-Oganian, does not mention that he is Jewish. His actions in the minds and memories of many rekindled the hated, suffering, painful past. The license he took was beyond decent behaviour. Such iconoclasm is not to be applauded. The only sympathy Ter-Oganian should expect is that granted to the stupid.

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