The nihilio-putzo-incendio-stupidious work Piss Christ by Andres Serrano was destroyed in a French museum, The Guardian reported on Friday, April 23, 2011. (Story originally found in Science Blogs). You remember Piss Christ – it’s a crucifix immersed in a beaker of the “artist’s” own urine. For this achievement, the artist had been much reviled by thinking people and much caressed by intellectuals.
There is an issue of freedom of expression here, and I must admit that destroying the work was wrong, especially today, when the definition of freedom of speech is assuming a very elastic form. After all, our very own Senator Lindsey Graham had informed us that “freedom of speech is a great idea, but there’s a
war kinetic military action on.”
So, constitutionally speaking, I’m on Serrano’s side, but I do say this with mixed emotions. I have no particular affiliation to Jesus (except that rabbi Jeshua of Nazareth was a fellow Jew) and I do have my share of quarrels with Christianity, but I still say good riddance to this piece of timeless “art.”
I must also note here that the “evil Christian vandals” who destroyed the work chose to destroy just the offending item and not to slaughter the artist, his family and the whole school of art he belongs to. This is kind of admirable, inasmuch as certain other folks would have gone the whole hog. (Actually, hogs are unclean to these certain other folks, so let’s say “the whole merino,” or something.)
Interesting commentary on culture and civilized behavior, this.
Oh, Happy Easter to all my Christian friends. Better that I say it than certain other people from whom it would sound disingenuous, which is possibly why they didn’t say it at all.