Hermann Josef Hack confronts the international museums of contemporary art with a virtual self censorship due to religious fanaticism
German artist Hermann Josef Hack (famous projects: documenta IX „Van Gogh TV“, Arme-Socken-Teppich, Global Balance) will focus on the increasing self censorship caused by the fear of religious fanaticism. Under the title No Exhibition at he addresses the world's most important und most famous museums of contemporary art, offering them not to exhibit a series of special paintings for a projected space of time.
On first sight this may merely seem like a simple gag – but there is a deeper sense in Hacks project: “The crisis raised by the publication of drawings of the prophet Mohammed in European newspapers has revealed the necessity of the struggle for the universal values. Political decisions have been made that concern my work as an artist and which I cannot influence. As some famous writers, journalists and intellectuals have declared on February 28, 2006, “it is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.”, Hack says, “if artists like us don’t fight for the right of free expression, we will soon be needless.”
Preventively Hack will show the consequences of self censorship with his new art project. No Exhibition at… is a message to the public audience. To declare that Hack refrains from showing paintings of the prophet or of a special series of paintings entitled “God bless Allah” or “Pimp my Gihad” is his personal tribute to the debate intending to start a serious contemplation.
The No Exhibition project now will cross over a virtual with a real situation, examining a prohibit of imaging, postulated by an increasing religious community world wide and the consequences of this special cultural attitude.
Making aware what it means that today, in the year 2006, you are not allowed to picture certain subjects, while we send pics from cell phone to cell phone and at the same time a young Moslem is threatened by death penalty because he converted to the Christian religion, Hack has already sent his offer to about 25 museums all over the world, so as the Museum Ludwig Cologne, the Tate Modern London, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Sarajevo Center of Contemporary Art, the Museum for Modern Art Kabul, the Iraq National Museum Baghdad and to the director of the next documenta 12, Roger M. Buergel.
Hacks paintings that are not to be exhibited in the museums can only be seen in the Internet on his site www.Hermann-Josef-Hack.de.