ISIS-related Artworks Removed from London Show After Police Warning
The police said security would cost $55,000.
An artwork showing tiny stuffed animals dressed up in the black garb of ISIS and threatening picnickers was apparently too much for a show called, ironically, “Passion for Freedom” at Mall Galleries in London.
Created by a London-based artist known as Mimsy, the works were deemed to have “potentially inflammatory content” by police, according to the Guardian. The authorities said that the organizers or the artist would have to pay some $55,000 in security fees, leading to the works’ removal.
The show, which was organized by a group called Passion for Freedom, ran for just five days until it closed on Saturday. The organizers said on the show’s website that the “courageous artists” involved had addressed three questions: “What is freedom? How easy is it to lose it? How hard is it to get it back?”
It was the seventh annual show the group has organized, and also included British-Yemeni artist Tasleem Mulhall’s sculpture of a woman about to be stoned for adultery, as well as Iranian artist Maryan Deyhim’s sculpture of a woman whose hijab is adorned with chains.
Mimsy’s works show rabbits, hedgehogs, elephants and bears, all in the form of furry toys made by the Australian company Sylvanian Families. In each scene, the animals at a picnic, at the beach, in school or at a beer festival, are surrounded by animals in black balaclavas carrying firearms.
While the pseudonymous artist tells the Guardian that she refers to the group as MICE-IS, a range of animals are part of the tiny terrorist group; some plainly have rabbit ears sticking out of their ISIS costumes. That’s the artist’s way of showing that terrorists aren’t necessarily from one ethnic group, she says.
“I’m aware of the very real threat to that freedom from Islamic fascism and I’m not going to pander to them or justify it like many people on the left are doing,” she told the Guardian. “I’m sick and tired of people calling criticism of fanatical Islam racist, because racism is about your skin colour and radical Islam is nothing to do with that. There are millions of Muslims who are shocked by it too.”
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