Thursday, December 29, 2005

Haute Couture

Updated -- Photos have surfaced!

Well, Google searches have hit us again. Yesterday and today the recurring search was for “Vienna Bush posters”, “Vienna Bush Queen”, “Vienna Bush Queen posters”, etc.

These unfortunate folks, looking for something more exciting, turned up at Gates of Vienna. Finally I found what they were looking for:
     Austria has launched its presidency of the European Union by unveiling posters of naked figures wearing masks resembling the Queen, Jacques Chirac and George W. Bush.
The images, part of a government-funded campaign, have provoked outrage in Vienna even before the country takes over the EU’s helm from Britain on Sunday. The naked man and two women are shown in sexual poses together on a roof. The Bush mask is worn by one of the women.
The posters, the fruit of a project called 25 Peaces, will be on display throughout the Austrian capital on 400 billboards until January 24.
Well, if you’re Austrian, that’s your tax dollars at work. Doesn’t that bring a thrill of pride to your heart?

There’s more:
     Taxpayers are contributing 10 per cent of the cost of the £7 million project, which involves 75 European artists working under the umbrella title euroPART. The rest of the money is from private sponsors.
The images of the naked trio were designed by Carlos Aires, 31, from Madrid. He said they depicted “the most recent changes in Europe and the resulting spacial constructions”. The project’s organisers called them a “direct criticism of globalisation”.
Of course! That nasty old globalization. Nothing like royal nudity to drive the point home with the lumpenproletariat.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any photos of the billboards to display for our readers’ edification. None of the news stories has one, and Google images can’t find any so far. According to Reuters, the entire collection of photos is available here, but the link is no good as of post time.

So we’ll have to wait a while longer for our prurient anti-globalization thrills.

Ah, Europe! Long may you continue to propagate your enlightened culture to the rest of us poor buffoons!

Until sharia is instituted, that is. Then there will be no more pornographic images on billboards. Then no representational images whatsoever will be allowed. Just eight-foot high inscriptions in elaborate Arabic calligraphy calling the faithful to prayer…

Redoubtable commenter Wally Ballou, the finest googler in Christendom, has located photos of the offending billboards. As he says, “If you're offended, don’t blame me. They are pretty stupid — even for government art.”

Gates of Vienna is a family site, so I cropped off the subversive portions of anatomy. Click the link to see the whole picture, plus others.


You’d think with all that tax money they could buy better likenesses of famous public figures. That looks more like Elton John than Queen Elizabeth.


Anonymous said...

Hey, at least they'll get those nice Persian rugs on the dime! Or maybe did I mean to say prayer mats? Oh well...

PhilippinesPhil said...

Sharia Law in Europe! It makes sense in a twisted way, since both radical Islam and Europeans look at the USA as the root of all that is bad in the world. They'll make great bedfellows!

goesh said...

yup, Austrians under the boot of shariah law, quite a picture of poetic justice

Wally Ballou said...

If you want to see them, click here. if you're offended, don't blame me. They are pretty stupid - even for government art.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Poor Austria. So far from poor Francis Joseph, so near the Shariah.

An Elton John resemblance eh ? Gives a whole new meaning to "Candle in the Wind."

Always On Watch said...

A friend of mine who lives in Austria is visiting for the holidays. I'll have to ask her about this when we get together for lunch tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I can see now why Arnold (Schwarzenegger) is peculiarly suited to head the state with the most "avant garde" citizens in the US.

And they said he lacked the needed experience--evidentially he has the perfect background for the job.

Aren't they adorable? I think the one in the middle is Jane Fonda.

John Sobieski said...

I am always amazed what gets through 'committee.' Who are the crazies on these 'committtees' or dare I ask?

I am sure when the 'committee' approved, the posters were enthusiastically described as bold, evocative, thought provoking and express so many messages on multiple levels.

I have grown to detest committees and dialogues and am always wary about any committee I participate on expanding a narrow focus. Of course, government committees can be incompetent and out of touch, no fear, no harm will come to them or the government. But real committees, for profit committees, their bad decisions can cause them to lose their jobs or their company to go bankrupt.