Serrano’s Piss Christ stokes controversy once again
Catholic protesters in Corsica have demanded the removal of the work from a museum exhibition
By Hannah McGivern. Web only
Published online: 27 August 2014
The New York artist Andres Serrano has awakened fresh controversy with his 1987 work Piss Christ, which famously sparked a culture war in the US that led to the end of NEA grants to individual artists. Around 50 protesters gathered yesterday, 26 August, outside the Musée Fesch in Ajaccio, Corsica, to demand the immediate removal of the photograph from an exhibition of 120 works by the artist.
A member of the Catholic organisation Cristiani Corsi told France TV Info that the protest aimed to have the work removed from the museum and returned to the Lambert Collection in Avignon, which co-organised the exhibition. “[Corsica] is soiled by the presence of this picture. It’s an insult to every Corsican,” he said.
Serrano’s photograph shows a crucifix plunged into a container of urine. It was made as part of a series of religious objects immersed in bodily fluids. Piss Christ is among the works that the curators decided to intersperse with the Fesch museum’s historic collections. It has been displayed alongside an 18th-century Italian painting of the Virgin Mary since 27 June. The show is scheduled to continue until 29 September.
Piss Christ was vandalised on Palm Sunday in 2011 when it was on display in Avignon. “One should look at works of art for what they are and not for the intentions one imagines the artist to have,” said Eric Mézil, the director of the Lambert Collection.
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