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Friday, February 12, 2010

France: Ko Siu Lan’s installation censored

Ko Siu Lan’s installation
only stayed a few hours on the building of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts de Paris and was then removed.

On the left of the image one can read: "WORK" "LESS" and on the right "EARN" "MORE".
The 4 words play with a slogan used by the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy when he was campaigning: "Work more, Earn more."

Voici l'article publie dans Liberation (I don't think the link appears correctly in my comment).


Art as Authority said...

Why was it taken down?

Michele Guieu said...

I hope the link to the article -on the photo- works.
Apparently the French government did not like the piece. There was pressure.
The director of the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts de Paris said that the piece was taken down because "it was making fun of the (French) president".
There is an article in Liberation:
"travailler moins...censurer plus"

Michele Guieu said...

Follow-up / Thanks RG for the link!

From Artforum online
week of 2-22-2010


The Chinese artist Ko Siu Lan’s work—which was taken down in an act of censorship from the facade of Paris’s Beaux-Arts arts academy—has been reinstalled after much criticism and a promise of legal action from the artist. As Le Monde’s Michel Guerrin reports, no less a figure than French minister of culture Frédéric Mitterrand ordered that the work be reinstalled. Ko’s four black banners put a new critical spin on a successful presidential 2007 election slogan from Nicolas Sarkozy. While Sarkozy had campaigned with the phrase “Travailler plus pour gagner plus” (Work more to gain more), Ko offered a more equivocal message with the words TRAVAILLER (work), MOINS (less), GAGNER (earn), and PLUS (more). The directors of the Beaux-Arts made the decision to remove the installation, which they felt ran against the “neutrality” of the public service. Since the Beaux-Arts is under the tutelage of the ministry of culture, the minister proved to have the last word. The thirty-two-year-old Ko, who traveled to France to complete her studies at the academy, celebrated the “victory of truth and freedom of expression.” According to the report, Mitterand telephoned the artist to say that he was “sorry for this idiotic story.”]