The current dust-up around Paul McCarthy’s immense green butt plug sculpture in Paris has either sent the world into fits of rage or fits of uncontrollable giggling, depending on your feelings about 80-foot-tall sex toys. But if you thought that the fuss indicated that the City of Lights was somehow less than hospitable for racy art, never fear, the International Association of Art Critics is here. The French chapter of AICA is rallying to the cause, organizing a righteous flash mob on October 24 to turn back the tide of anti-butt plug sentiment in Paris.
According to the website Paris Art, the critics will rally to affirm “the right to freedom of expression and creation, and to protest against the attacks on the artist Paul McCarthy and his work. France does not have to yield to the threats of those who, by attacking an artist or a work, attack artistic freedom.” Various reports have detailed how McCarthy was physically attacked last week during the install (see “Paul McCarthy Beaten Up over Butt Plug Sculpture”), before the work was itself vandalized and ultimately deflated last Friday (see “Vandalized Paul McCarthy Butt Plug Pulled from Paris Square”). The uproar has grown so loud that even the French president weighed in on the matter.
The work was installed for the FIAC art fair, set for an official kickoff tomorrow. The flash mob will correspond with the fair’s second day. Look for the gang of critics at the corner of rue de la Paix and rue Danielle Casanova at 1 pm sharp, on Friday.
To see AFP’s video report on Paul McCarthy’s Tree, click on the video below:
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