Thursday, March 14, 2013

Attempting the Destruction of the Secular Muse

"Attempting the Destruction of the Secular Muse" is the large painting shown on the left as displayed in Vakras and Raymond's Humanist Transhumanist Exhibition at the now defunct Guildford Lane Gallery in Melbourne, 2009

The subject matter of the large painting on the left was claimed by gallery owner Robert Cripps to be "racist". On this basis Cripps determined the entire exhibition racist. But it was this work in particular that had him agitated to loudly proclaim his determination of racism. So much so that Disclaimers of Liability were posted by him through out the exhibit. The painting depicts a secular "muse" in a land assailed by and caught up in a devastating destruction wrought by religious violence. In the case of this work the religion assailing the "secular muse" is Islam. Verses quoted from the Koran support and underpin the argument that this religion seeks to justify and exhort followers into committing violent acts in its name. Quotes from the Bible were used to show how that religion's text exhorts violent acts in its name. To emphasise the point, other works in the same exhibition were similarly critical of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism for their use of doctrine to support destructive violence to achieve religious conformity and override freedom of individuality and equality of human rights. The symbolism was lost on this Gallery manager who's reaction remained vitriolic and aggressive no matter how reasoned the arguments proffered to explain what should have been unnecessary. It isn't racist to criticise Islam.

In explaining his work Vakras states:  
"The premise behind many of my works in this exhibition was the condemnation of religion-incited violence, and religion-incited racism. My works specifically condemn the 4 'montheisms': Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, whose religious doctrines demand that their followers commit murder as an act of piety on behalf of their respective faiths." 
So is it hypocritical then that this newspaper article was posted on the FaceBook page of Robert Cripps' new venture Ruby's Music Room?

Full article: Mali and me | The Australian

From this article: 
"ethnic Tuareg rebels in the north of the country ...hijacked by radical Islamists with links to al-Qa'ida.. [means that] within months hotels and bars will close, livelihoods will be taken away, and the application of a strict form of sharia law in northern Mali will almost silence the music."
To put it bluntly: Islamic Sharia law is antithetic to and destructive of cultural pursuits such as music, and will persecute those who perform the art form. Mali's musicians had to hastily flee Mali to escape persecution if not certain death.

Oh the irony.
To begin, the word music, is the Greek μουσική, which itself is derived from the μούσες: muses.

What is lost on this gallery director is that the very verses from the Koran, which he said it was racist to quote, are law, each and every one of them. In addition, these laws are augmented with the sayings and deeds of Mohammed. These deeds were recorded from 150-200 years after Mohammed died and are the "Hadith".

The Hadith - which were not quoted in the exhibition - are frightening. A Hadith on music proclaims:

"From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful...Allah will destroy them during the night and will let the mountain fall on them, and He will transform the rest of them into monkeys and pigs and they will remain so till the Day of Resurrection."
(Abu Dawud Book 036, Hadith Number 4909)

And in Mali pious observers of Islam set out to destroy people and culture following the law of Islam, what is written in the Koran and in the Hadith. In this instance Islam is to be condemned?

How is this different to what Vakras wrote criticising Koranic-based law, Sharia? Why is one racist and the other human rights approved?

Such hypocrisy deserves exposure. 

This blog post is brought to you by the "Sued": Lee-Anne Raymond and Demetrios Vakras

Saturday, March 9, 2013

International Women's Day in Russia 2013

"The curators of the exhibition explained that any mention of Pussy Riot is dangerous today."


Interesting for a few reasons. Art censorship thrives, art that is political is rejected, art that is challenging of society is dangerous, in other words art must not exceed certain boundaries in holding a mirror up to convention because convention can be ugly and shamed by its own visage. And finally worth noting is how the Curator and Assistant Curator operated in unison to discredit the artist here. Liars and cowards will stick together no matter the context.

Read and learn more about Victoria Lomaskos' work here

Victoria Lomasko, with works from her and Anton Nikolaev’s series Tagansky Justice, at the exhibition of Kandinsky Prize nominees, 2010. Photo by Vlad Chizhenkov

About Leeanneart

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
We are first and foremost human with a responsibility to the humanity within us and not to any faith, political, apolitical, social or societal group, union or faction. We are responsible for our own reputation, and for what deeds we do and what achievements or otherwise in life we enjoy. The rest is nonsense.