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A blog on terrorism, democracy and international politics

Monday, January 19, 2004

Zvi Mazel Still Making Waves 

Jewish-Russian artist Dmitri Wasserman has modified an art installation at Stockholm's Historiska Museet by floating a picture of Anna Lindh's murderer, Mijailo Mijalovic alongside the picture of a Palestinian suicide bomber that was the work's original centrepiece.

The original artwork exhibits a naive or cynical moral equivalency in attempting to 'understand' the motivations of Islamic Jihad bomber Hanadi Jaradat, by floating her picture in a boat on a blood-red pool in the grounds of Historiska Museet. The work was accompanied by classical music and a postmodern poem that juxtaposed hypothetical thoughts of the suicide bomber with a fairy tale.

Israeli ambassador Zvi Mazel came under criticism for making his own artistic statement recently, unplugging the spotlights that illuminated the otherwise dark installation. Mazel's performance art was accompanied by a poem of its own; Mazel made the following statement:

I felt that I was standing in front of a horror, I felt that I was standing in front of an exhibit that, while it was in an historic and big museum in the heart of Europe, was glorifying genocide. I was standing before an exhibit calling for genocide, praising the genocide of me, you, my brothers and sisters. I pulled the plug on the three spotlights and plunged the exhibit into darkness. I think one of the spotlights fell into water.

Given that Mazel's act involved the temporary unplugging of some lamps, it is curious that Haretz and Jerusalem Post chose to describe the act as destroying or wrecking: Government supports wrecking of terror exhibit.
(The Ha'aretz article I linked to yesterday has been replaced by one that does not accuse Mazel of 'destroying' the work. The original title was "Top Israeli diplomat to Sweden destroys 'suicide bomb' artwork.")

Ironically, Mr and Mrs Feiler, the artists who created the original installation, while understanding the motivations of a suicide bomber, 'don't understand the ambassador's rage'.

See also: Bjorn Staerk's blog and Zvi Mazel, iconoclast

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