Jailed Swedish Artist’s Racist Works Could Get Gallery Show

Artist Dan Park. Photo: Roger Sahlström

In August, artnet News reported that Swedish artist Dan Park was sentenced to six months in prison and made to pay a hefty fine for creating and displaying racist artworks that depict black and Roma people in a derogatory and offensive manner.

Park is currently imprisoned in Sweden, but on September 29, Danish radio station Radio24syv found itself in hot water over plans to display 31 of his works in a gallery in Copenhagen. Denmark-based newspaper The Local reports that the radio station has agreed to drop the exhibition, but that the Danish Free Press Society has announced that it is now working on finding a gallery willing to display the pictures.

The works, nine of which were ordered to be destroyed in Swedish court, reportedly include an image that depicts three African Swedes with nooses around their necks, a Catholic bishop receiving fellatio from a young boy, and Jesus having sex with Muhammad. The Free Press Society is particularly interested in displaying the most controversial works, which resulted in Park’s jail sentence. Their desire is to show that Park’s “socially critical art is not targeted at specific groups, but in all directions,” according to deputy chairwoman Aia Fog.

In the meantime, they have set up a website to sell the nine most disputed works, using the tagline: “Sweden’s most dangerous pictures – buy them here.” Each work is priced at approximately $800, and the proceeds will be used to “strengthen the defense of free speech.”

“It was a very important case that Radio24syv brought up and it is all too important to drop now. Dan Park is still in jail and there are still only a few people who are able to see the art that put him behind bars. We want to change that,” the Free Press Society’s chairwoman Katrine Winkel Holm said.

The Free Press Society is reportedly in talks with a Copenhagen gallery, and claims an exhibition could be mounted within a week.

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