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What a sad and disgusting story.
But quiet some food for thought.
Very curious about opinions here!

NYT article

büchel.jpg111.3 KB

I can't conceive of it

How can an artist convince a museum director to do all this? On some level it seems really abusive. The higher question is the prurient vision that would endorse re-creating the carnage of the Middle East.

On one level I think that the Büchel work is justifiable as art but on a gut reaction I think it's a shameful waste. What's even more amazing is that a Swiss artist is doing this in the USA. I would understand an American doing it as a political work. But a Swiss citizen?

The people who are creating the real carnage in the middle east are insulated from and don't engage in the art world. Messing up a Museum in Massachusetts seems like a pointless exercise.

Wish Cheese

Would you mind expanding a bit on what you mean by, 'What's even more amazing is that a Swiss artist is doing this in the USA'? You don't have a problem with an American doing the exact same work but you say that non-Americans should stay clear of critique. Would a Swiss comment have greater integrity in, say, Mozambique? What have you got against the Swiss? Aside from those horns they keep blowing they seem like a decent enough bunch of folk.


The question of content, especially political content in art is a very loaded question. I didn't write the NY Times article but it seems that the nationality of Büchel is relevant.

The content of the piece from the description is about the Iraq war. At least that's what I get from reading the review.

When I talk about Büchel being Swiss it's to ask why a non-American would make a piece about the Iraq war.

Let me explain; when an artist makes an art work they embody the content, the forms and the ideas come from their individual,as well as, the collective psyche. What deep emotion caused him to do this? The Swiss were not attacked on 9/11. Their Subways weren't bombed on 6/6. The Swiss are not involved in Iraq? The Iconography of burnt cars, exploded homes etc.comes from Büchel. Either he is fascinated with the effects of war or he is somehow building a movie set.

As an American I have been doing pieces about the Iraq War and 9/11 since 2001. See, Shooter, and HD_RANTS, rant/rant back. I'm doing these works because I am American and those are the emotions of my country.

When a European from a neutral country does a piece about the war in Iraq, it seems to be insincere on some level or worse an attempt to use a tragedy as a scandalous titillation.

A critique of global capitalism and it's effects around the world would perhaps be more fitting for a citizen from a country of bankers.

There are of course a lot of fugitives from the Middle East who are living in Switzerland. They range from middle class businessmen to the very wealthy as well as crooks and deposed dictators who are sitting there with their money. My Uncle and his family who are from Istanbul are such fugitives. They are Christian fugitives. But you are just as likely to see Sheiks in Zurich as in Beirut.

Con Text:

So what should we make of this? It was hauled out of the Thames one cold and rainy morning in the far distant past. (Btw Marat was Swiss).