Monday, April 18, 2011

Piss Christ Destroyed

"The controversial work Piss Christ by the New York photographer Andres Serrano has been destroyed at a gallery in France after weeks of protests.

The photograph, which shows a small crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist's urine, outraged the US religious right in 1987, when it was first shown, with Serrano denounced in the Senate by the Republican Jesse Helms. It was later vandalised in Australia, and neo-Nazis ransacked a show by the artist in Sweden in 2007.

The work has previously been shown without incident in France, but for the past two weeks Catholic groups have campaigned against it, culminating in hundreds of people marching through Avignon on Saturday in protest.

Just after 11am on Sunday, four people in sunglasses entered the gallery where the exhibition was being held. One took a hammer from his sock and threatened security staff. A guard restrained one man but the remaining members of the group managed to smash an acrylic screen and slash the photograph with what police believe was a screwdriver or ice pick. They then destroyed another photograph, of nuns' hands in prayer.

Piss Christ is part of a series by Serrano showing religious objects submerged in fluid such as blood and milk. It was being shown in an exhibition to mark 10 years of the art dealer Yvon Lambert's personal collection in his 18th-century mansion.

Last week the gallery complained of "extremist harassment" by Christians who wanted the image banned. The archbishop of Vaucluse, Jean-Pierre Cattenoz, called the work "odious" and said he wanted "this trash" taken off the gallery walls. Saturday's street protest against the work gained the support of the far-right National Front, which has recently done well in local elections..."

I found this article and image at:
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It just doesn't make sense to me that people think it's acceptable to destroy artwork as a means of protest. This whole series was really awesome, with various religious items submerged in liquids such as milk and blood. I'm pretty upset about this. Also, they slashed through the center of the photo. WITH AN ICEPICK. That seems to me like it's beyond repair.


  1. So most of you guys probably know I’m a christian by now, and certainly the whole idea of submerging a crucifix in urine is offensive to me, but for the life of me I can’t understand why it would incite someone to violence.

    It seems to me people like this don’t really understand the Jesus they claim to be following. I mean, certainly an effigy of him in pee is not worse than him being nailed to a cross and killed in the flesh. If you can’t handle the one how can you claim to accept the other?

    According to the gospels, Jesus stopped Peter when he tried to attack the soldiers who came to arrest him. It seems to me if Jesus wanted his followers to be violent that would’ve been his opportunity to say so.

    Instead Jesus forgave people, even the people who crucified him. If he did that anyone who claims to follow him should be able to handle forgiving artists who create work they find offensive.

  2. WELL SAID Matt!!! well said.