An Iconoclast is someone who attacks and seeks to overthrow traditional or popular ideas or institutions. Mother Mary, the Holy Virgin, is in that sense a metaphor for the Westeren ideology. This work is not only an attack on the Christian Church, it’s symbolic attack on the West. On the vernisage of the group show ‘That’s All Folks’ (2010 / Bruges / Belgium / artists: Art and Language, Carlos Aires, John Isaacs, ) the visitors could throw stones to the plaster statues of the Holy Virgin. ‘Iconoclasm’ is now on view on the Mediations Biennale in Poznan, Poland.
The visitors who threw stones are unaware about the manipulation of the artist. It’s easy to play with the consciousness of the audience on an opening night of an exhibition. They just want to be a part of it and embody the artwork. A personification, as they have made it themselves. This is also the reason why some people want to pay so much money for an art work and how capitalism works. The same mechanisms of manipulation in ‘Iconoclasm’ is to be found in all religions.
Article in ‘Flash Art’: “The most intriguing highlights of the program include a show by Belgian artist Peter Puype” http://www.flashartonline.com/2016/10/mediations-biennale-poznan/
Article in S Z U M: “Podejście kuratorów biennale do polityczności najlepiej oddaje instalacja Iconoclasm Petera Puype. Bazująca na prostej logice „daj się skusić i rozbij Maryjkę” religijna strzelnica operowała wymownym, ale łopatologicznym przekazem.” http://magazynszum.pl/krytyka/poznanski-standard-5-mediations-biennale-fundamental
Mediations Biennale / Poznań
Every two years the city of Poznań, Poland, opens up as an international forum for contemporary art. This year’s edition of the Mediations Biennale, titled “Fundamental,” invites participants to give expression to such elementary human values as freedom, identity and religion.
Some featured works take a critical approach to contemporaneity, celebrating the dignity of mankind while looking down upon ideology, violence and manipulation, while others seek to discover common values and universal visions of beauty. All are meant to be presented in dialogue with the places they are set within — such as the castle of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Hitler’s cabinet and a Jesuit monastery — and with works of earlier historical periods, from the collections of the National Museum and the Museum of the Archdiocese of Poznań.
The most intriguing highlights of the program include a show by Belgian artist Peter Puype. His work Iconoclasm — composed of a market stall containing plaster figures of the Virgin Mary, along with a pile of stones for viewers to toss at the statues — created quite a stir in Bruges in 2010. In Poznań, Puype has set up his installation in the former Jesuit chapel. Stoning in today’s Poland can be read as a commentary on the status of women living under a government whose latest legislation is aimed at curbing their freedoms.
Ada Karczmarczyk, who has deemed herself a Catholic pop superstar, also walks a line between evangelical fervor and desecration. Her video works, presented in the Kaiser’s castle, feature the young Polish artist exploiting kitsch and the language of pop culture to promote Christian values.
The National Museum in turn hosts works dealing with identity and patriotism. These include a steel burka by French artist Laure Boulay, and Belgian artist Gery De Smet’s vision of an eagle — Poland’s official emblem — sprinkled with confetti and captioned “There’s No Need for Change.”
by Agnieszka Sural