June 13, 2014

"Polish town installs lime green statue of Lenin taking a leak."

"The statue replaces a more traditional sculpture of Lenin that was removed in 1989, following the fall of communism in Poland. The piece, dubbed the ‘Fountain of the Future,’ is designed to encourage debate...."

ADDED: I oppose, in addition to communism, tag proliferation, but this was the post that made me do what I'd resisted in the past, making a tag for Lenin. Having done so, I went back and added the tag to 11 old posts with the name Lenin and it's an interesting lot — including:

"It's easy to make fun of these women, but I do think it's fair to say that the art folk here are exploiting people."

Let's realize that throughout history statuary has been used to intimidate people. What's all that ancient Egyptian sculpture about if not to cow people into abject submission?...

Think of all the Lenin and Stalin statues. And how about Saddam Hussein's despicable "Victory Arch"?

Is the Wellesley "Sleepwalker" in this tradition? Yes, the idea of a mighty oppressor seems like a dream to us now. Perhaps it's a joke bouncing off the tradition of the intimidating colossus.
"It is time to get rid of this horrible mummy."
Mr. Putin said... "Many people in this country associate their lives with the name of Lenin... To take Lenin out and bury him would say to them that they have worshiped false values, that their lives were lived in vain."

IN THE COMMENTS: Best line "Somehow it almost sounds as if Putin is speaking for himself."
And what was for a long time — and maybe still is! — my own favorite of all my posts:
"Tattoos remind you of death."
CNN reports:
Tattoos of mermaids and roses, cherubs bearing crimson hearts, Lenin's head and the trademarked pattern of French luxury brand Louis Vuitton stand out against bright pink skin soaking in the sun outside Beijing.

This living gallery of skin art is not on display for a tattooists' convention or a Harley-Davidson fan club meeting. It is an everyday sight in Chenjiatuo village and is borne on the flesh of some unlikely subjects -- big, fat pigs.

The idea was cooked up by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, who has hired a small staff of local farmers and tattoo artists to raise some 20 sows and use them as canvases for skin art at his rustic China base, Art Farm.

"I decided to do something in China first, and I realized tattooing pigs would be a good introduction to the country. It's low-tech," Delvoye, 40, told Reuters.

The pigs get sedatives before they go under the needle and are carefully raised until their natural deaths, normally well past the six-month mark when farm pigs are slaughtered.

Collectors can buy the pigs live and pay for their keep as "foster parents" or simply purchase their tattoo-festooned skins for display after the pigs pass.

"The Art Farm is a real enterprise and by selling, eventually, the skins, the whole thing gets financed and I can go on," said Delvoye, who has pushed other artistic boundaries with previous works.

Mortality is a primary theme in the porky "paintings".

"Tattoos remind you of death. It's leaving something permanent on something non-permanent," he said. "Even when tattooing flowers, there is a morbid side to the activity."
I agree: tattoos do remind you of death. When I see someone with a tattoo, I usually think: you're going to have that as part of your body until the day you die. And then you're going to have that on your body in your grave. You and that tattoo are in a death grip.

But aside from tattoos generally, this story raises some other questions. First, there's the whole placement of Lenin's head amidst mermaids, roses, cherubs, and crimson hearts. But maybe all these things, like tattoos themselves, remind you of death.

Then there's the paired image of Harley-Davidson conventioneers and big, fat pigs. Stereotyping the rider of the beautiful motorcycle again. Stereotyping the pig too.

And then there's the question whether we're outraged about the use of pigs or about going to rural China to do the project. And if we're outraged about both, which is worse? Maybe it's kind of a positive thing, though, both for the pigs and the villagers.

Surely, the villagers must be getting some laughs -- perhaps at the expense of Westerners generally. Maybe we Westerners should be irked that some egoistic artist is making us look ridiculous.

For the pigs, it's a nice life. They get to take sedatives, so they probably enjoy the tattooing experience. Then, they are "raised carefully" until they die a natural death. Think of the pig alternatives. These pigs are living like kings!

And what of the rich folk with tattooed pig skins hanging on their walls? I think the final artwork might look quite nice, and they're not exploiting poor Chinese any more than you are when you buy cheap leather shoes made in China. In fact, it's less exploitative, and the Chinese are learning tattooing skills. Maybe they will emigrate here and tattoo your ass for you as a memento mori.

10 comments:

EDH said...

Okay, who holds his dick thumb-in when taking a leak?

Or is that technique what might be called, ahem, "Reverse Polish... Fellation"?

Curious George said...

Russia replaced their's with a statue of Putin taking a leak on Obama. At least I think it was statue.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Taking the piss" has a whole new meaning.

I like it - and the color,..

MadisonMan said...

You're up to almost 38000 posts. How many tags are there?

Anonymous said...

On June 8 'Commenting on the Wrong Post Drunk Guy' says "...I wake up in my dream and go to the sex store by the airport and look desperately for a light green polyurethane penis, but there are none to be found. Orange, black, blue, red, yellow, pink, army camouflage, plaid, paisley but no light green..."

Now there is a light green Lenin in Poland. Penises, Poles: I connect the dots before there are dots.

Anonymous said...

Crazy Street Corner Guy Off His Meds Says:

Harvey Keitel has been standing on the corner pissing on passing pedestrians again. He waves back and forth like a lawn sprinkler and howls, people try to get out of the way but Harvey's stream is a force of nature: he can hit pedestrians across the four-lane road like a sniper with an epic squirt gun. He yells either "This is how I rain" or "This is how I reign", they sound the same and I don't ask him to clarify, he is busy, Harvey once pissed for seven straight minutes and when the light hit it just right it was like a rainbow but mostly yellow.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

On the cooking show network CNN is becoming, I imagine Aanthony Bourdain

madAsHell said...

Okay, who holds his dick thumb-in when taking a leak?

Otherwise, people might think he was jacking-off...

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Crack Emcee said...

I like it - and the color,..

Yeah, but if that's lime green then there is something seriously wrong with the limes I get at the store.

mccullough said...

Needs a trigger warning for Wellesley chicks