Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Carcass of Saartjie Baartman

A firestorm ensued after Swedish-Afro artist Makode Linde made a performance-cake at World art day, Moderna Museet Stockholm 2012. IAA (International Association of Art) of Sweden arranges World Art Day with a focus on censorship and freedom of speech. Makode Linde presented his work depicting the woman known as the Hottentot Venus-- Saartjie Baartman--with the intention of bringing awareness to the still rampant practice of female mutilation. To add injury to insult for some, Linde even went further, in honor of his sculptures that depict grotesque depictions of Baartman that resemble American classic images of offensive sambo figures with the black skin and clown-like painted lips, to paint his own face and use it as the "head" of a cake that was baked in the form of Baartman. Then, as participants in the event cut the cake, Linde cried out in misery as participants cut into the vaginal area of the cake figure, howling as if they were, in fact, cutting him. Watch below for yourself and answer the question-- is this art or something else? Whatever you decide, it can not be denied that the ensuing laughter that you can hear  in the background is, in fact, quite disturbing to witness. Read more on this story here.

Here is Linde's response to the firestorm:

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