I was quietly watching Four Rooms on Channel 4 this evening, when all of a sudden an artist called Marco Evaristti walks on with a disgusting, crass piece of ‘art’: the gates of Auschwitz made from gold teeth of the Jewish victims.
Now I am extremely tolerant of art that has a really strong message behind it, that raises questions and challenges the way we view the world around us.
But all this ignorant, selfish man demonstrated was that he is more than willing to exploit innocent people, who deserve respect and dignity for their martyrdom, in order to “make a living”.
He entered the room proclaiming that the work was to explore his roots as a Jew, and to simply make back the money he spent on the piece. But instead, he bargained that he would destroy his work for the price of £222,000 which is over £100,000 more than it cost him to make.
These are not the actions of an artist who values their work more than money.
These are not the actions of a man who wishes to make a mark and make people question the sociological structures around them through his art.
These are the actions of a man who deserves to lose their fortune and experience life in poverty, so he can really realise the extent and ludicrousness of his actions.
There are certain performance artists who use their bodies to reflect the pain and plight of innocent people. The choice to use their bodies as a vessel of expression and discussion is respected by me, as they are the owners of themselves.
But Marco Evaristti used the bodies of victims to construct a piece of art, dehumanising them in the same way as the camp officers. This is not a valid form in which to raise the monstrosity of the genocide of Jewish people in WW2.
There are plenty of people in the world who sacrifice themselves daily, work tirelessly to improve the day-to-day lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. Those are the people who deserve back all that they have given, be it financially, through exhibiting their actions. Marco Evaristti deserves nothing for creating a piece of ‘art’ that attempts to speak volumes about a period of time he clearly knows nothing about. And I’m glad he got fuck all for it.