Against Ideologies

6 Oct

In today’s news, there has been some discussion on the piece you see above.  Maurizio Cattelan’s sculpture entitled L.O.V.E, but popularly called The Middle Finger, is on display in the Piazza d ‘Affari.  Why does this matter? The piece is on display in front of the Milan stock exchange, at least until October 24.  Many are interpreting this as an anti-capitalist statement, which the artist has continuously denied. Further explaining by saying that this was a work of love, hence the title.  Cattelan is no stranger to controversy, after in 2004; he installed three baby puppets hanging on a branch of an old tree. This particular piece is part of a retrospective entitled Against Ideologies.
The point?
I find it fascinating that when faced with something that could be perceived as wrong or offensive; people tend to immediately shy away from it and any sort of introspection it may provoke.
After reading several different articles, I found that this is actually mocking a Nazi hand gesture, rather than any sort of social commentary on the financial world.  Cattelan didn’t even know where this piece was to be installed. It’s interesting to note how defensive people get when anyone questions (even unintentionally) the things as they are. Perhaps more pieces like this should be publicly displayed, if only to provoke some sort of contemplative evaluation of life around us. So which is more important in this case? The artist’s intension or the public backlash?

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One Response to “Against Ideologies”

  1. jacopo October 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    Sign the petition to don’t remove L.O.V.E. from “Piazza Affari”, the Milan Stock exchange square:

    http://www.petizionionline.it/petizione/exibart-flash-art-il-dito-medio-di-maurizio-cattelan-resti-a-milano/2209

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