Anti-capitalist work of art proves “too political”
Work was removed from its site one day before Art Basel Miami Beach was due to open
By Anny Shaw. From Art Basel Miami Beach daily edition
Published online: 04 December 2009
“Capitalism Kills Love” is a pretty punchy statement, but Paris-based art duo Claire Fontaine (James Thornhill and Fulvia Carnevale) were nonetheless shocked to discover that their work had been removed from its site one day before Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) was due to open.
The sign, Capitalism Kills Love (Red, White, Blue), 2009, was intended to hang on the side of a building on the corner of 21st Street and Collins Avenue as part of ABMB’s Art Projects, but the slogan proved a bit too political for one of the two owners of the building. According to Paola Guadagnino, co-director of the Naples gallery T293 (D25) which represents the artist duo, the disgruntled owner objected as soon as the sign had gone up.
“He was pretty shocked,” says Fulvia Carnevale. “He thought the meaning was too political for him. This can happen with people who are outside of the art world.” With help from Art Projects curator Patrick Charpenel, the sign was reinstalled on the side of another building on Meridian Avenue in under 24 hours.
But even in its new location, it seems the artistic statement was greeted with comments and criticisms. According to the artists, a passing Miami Beach policeman asked the art installers working on site what the sign said. When they told him, “Capitalism Kills Love”, Carnevale says the officer said they should “Go back to Europe”.
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