Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Support the action: Free Venice!

By Natasa Tepavcevic

Belgrade, July 12, (Serbia Today) - The serial of Jacques Charlier’s drawings “100 artists’ genitalia” printed in form of posters will be shown in the center of Belgrade on public press boards, from July 11th. Citizens, local artists, theoreticians, all culture workers as well as tourists are warmly invited to make photos of them with posters “100 artists’ genitalia” in the cadre, and to send the photo/s on the address: info@jacquescharlier-venise2009.be.
The residents can participate in the photo game “Free Venice” and win a catalogue published for the occasion. At the same time, a Quiz Art specially conceived by Jacques Charlier allows everybody (via the website www.jacquescharlier-venise2009.be) to win a t-shirt displaying the motif of the genitalia of the artist Jacques Charlier himself.
Curator of Museum Of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Zoran Eric, organizes this action, as specific kind of support in struggle for the human right of free speech and media. The same support the artist has got from various cities and institutions: Muhka, Antverpen; Stiftelsen , Bergen; OK Offenes Kunsthaus Oberösterreich, Linc; Mudam and Luksemburg; Frac Lorraine, Mec; Musée provincial Félicien Rops, Namur.
The work has been made and supported from The Ministry of Culture and Broadcasting of the French speaking and the project was officially submitted to be included in the collateral events of the 53rd International Art Exhibition. However, in a letter dated 18 December 2008, the director Daniel Birnbaum stated that he regrets “to inform that after careful evaluation of the proposal he does not believe that it is possible to include it in the collateral events”.
Is it up to the Biennale to castrate artists by deciding for them what might offend those whose very existence consists of forever extending the limits of freedom?
In short, about work: In 1973, Jacques Charlier began a series of drawings of “artists’ genitalia”. Using caricature, he set himself the task of making imaginary portraits of the “procreative organs” of artists whom he considers to have been major figures in 20th century art since Marcel Duchamp. Through the years, Jacques Charlier has put together a veritable gallery of portraits based on conceptual analysis and personal interpretation of the “artistic attributes” of major representatives of modern and contemporary art, thus enabling, among other things, a humorous and satirical re-reading of recent art history.

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