A Miriam Cahn Painting, titled “fuck abstraction!” will remain in the Palais de Tokyo. Overall, the painting depicts Russian war crimes. A right-wing French political party petitioned to remove Miriam Khan’s painting from the exhibition. The case reached the court. But, French administrative judge Sylvie Vidal refused the petition for removing the painting from the museum.
A Miriam Cahn Painting Depists a Child Abuse?
Members of the political party wanted the painting removed, because they thought it depicted child abuse. The aim of the painting is to condemn sexual crimes that are used as weapons of war. The plaintiffs—six associations led by the Association Juristes Pour L’Enfance. They believed there was a child on the work of art and demanded a ban on the work based on French law.
Overall, French law prohibits pornographic displays of children. The museum also issued a statement in which the artist spoke about the event. She said there is no child in the painting, but that the victim is shown in small dimensions for symbolic reasons. “The contrast between the two bodies shows the corporeal power of the oppressor, and the fragility of the oppressed, on their knees and emaciated by war”, said the artist.
The judge Sylvie Vidal agreed with the artist’s position. In her verdict, the judge said the act represents crimes committed in Ukraine by Russia. She also said it “people can’t understand it outside of its context”, adding the artist “aims to denounce the horrors of war”. The fact the museum also warned visitors about the sensitive content went in favor of the verdict. The painting was part of an exhibition called “Ma Pensée Serielle”, [My Serial Thought].
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The Debate Even Got to the Parliament
The center did not deny the possibility of various reactions when they exhibited the work. But, center representatives said as long as it is in the context, discomfort is essential to the production of art and the right to free speech. “We know the painting is shocking—though it is not pedo-pornographic”, Palais de Tokyo lawyer Paul Mathonnet defended the work.