Thursday, 30 October 2008
The Art Of Provocation

The Independent:

A gallery showing inflammatory images of veiled Muslims, including a bare-breasted woman partially clad in a burqa, is under police surveillance after being attacked earlier this week.

Windows and doors at the SaLon Gallery in west London were smashed after a series of abusive, anonymous phone calls and angry protests about the images from Muslims. The gallery has complained to police.

The solo exhibition of paintings by Sarah Maple includes a veiled woman holding a pig, which is interpreted as a flagrant disregard of the Islamic ban on eating pork. The show – entitled "This Artist Blows" – also includes two self-portraits: one of Maple wearing a headscarf has an image of Kate Moss's naked breast attached to it; another shows Maple in a T-shirt bearing the slogan "I love jihad". In another, a veiled Muslim woman wears a badge that says "I love orgasms".

Last night, Maple, a 23-year-old of Kenyan and British parentage, defended her work, saying she had not meant to cause offence but to explore her Britishness and her Muslim faith. She voiced concern about her safety and said she hoped the exhibition of 39 pictures, which opened this month, would not be taken down before its official closing date of 23 November...

This artist obviously wouldn't have a career if she were not provoking Muslim hostility.  But I'm glad the gallery isn't backing down.

Posted on 10/30/2008 8:17 AM by Rebecca Bynum
30 Oct 2008
Send an emailMary Jackson

Strange that you don't get Christians smashing windows and making threats when, as happens far, far more often, Christianity is insulted.

That "art" is utter crap, and the fact that it is anti-Muslim crap doesn't make it less so. But she is indeed "exploring" her Muslim faith - exploring the extent to which Muslims will react violently.

30 Oct 2008
windy Blow

It's only inflammatory if you allow yourself to be inflamed by it. If a person lacks sufficient self-control, has a closed and desperate philosophy or lacks a healthy, open view of the world, then I suppose it is a problem.

Art is crap? Quite a few people after so much 'righteous anger' involving wanton destruction of property and threats to lives and livelihoods may reasonably regard Islam is crap.

30 Oct 2008
Send an emailreactionry
Impulse Power & (Jim) Thorpe Speed
Or: Mappled Things
Or: Auctioning Miss Maple At Christie's?*
Or: Filling A Nioche In The Art World
Or: Bullwhipping Taste Into Shape
-Nice pic of burqa and banana - which disinterred painful memories of how a few weeks ago at the dinner table this here shaygetz failed to endear himself to his Jewish in laws, when, after hearing "banana", tugged at the back of his own head, pantomiming the old joke of how a Jewish woman eats that "silly fruit." 
When it comes to art, like Mademoiselle Noemie, I paint like pussy cats (apologies to any Mr., Mrs., or Ms. Katz amongst the Gentle Readers), and with respect to poetry 'n literature, I can't even kiss my own Parnassus, and don't know much about art, but my impulse is to like the "art" above and the impulses likely behind it, and hope that however amateurish or overpriced, any sort of Special Olympics awards for it are never rescinded, thus making of her a Maple Thorpe.
* No Marple mystery or Wanda Agatha Gag me story here; just referencing the author of "Sad Cypress" 

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