|Von Hausswolff: Sick photo: TopNews|
-'Who knows,' he wrote in a letter to a local newspaper. "Maybe some of the ashes originated from my relatives. No one knows where they were deported: all my mother's siblings and their children, and my grandparents.
-'I will never go to this gallery and it as view the desecration of Jewish bodies,' he added. 'I am sickened by his work and obsession with necrophilia.'"Shulman is correct in describing this as revolting. Once again, it's important to note that the artist collected these ashes himself, taking human remains as a personal souvenir of his visit to Majdanek. For many of us, the photos and memories we take away are sufficient to remind us of the Nazi horrors, but for this Swedish artist, the only thing that would do was a handful of Jew-ashes. Having been to Majdanek myself, I can only speculate as to how von Hausswolff managed to collect his souvenir. Scraping around in the crematoria? Jumping into the giant ash-pile memorial?
It's not surprising that while the remains were stolen in 1989, von Hausswolff waited until now to display this macabre insult. Lately it seems that the point of "art" seems to be to make not just plain junk, but really offensive junk with some sort of political slant. Note that while many in the art world jumped to defend Serrano's "Piss Christ", there was a either derision or stupefaction when Glenn Beck spoofed it by putting a bobblehead Obama in a jar of yellow-tinted water.
Where the climate is ripe for sacrilege, but the personality-culters are hard at work, it's time to worry.
Feel free to challenge gallery-owner Martin Bryder's assertion that you should see von Hausswolff's "art" before you judge it:
Gallery contact info: + 46 70-3805017 or firstname.lastname@example.org