Swiss artist touches a nerve in Iceland
By Clemens Bomsdorf. News, Issue 193, July-August 2008
Published online: 24 July 2008
REYKJAVÍK. Swiss artist Christoph Büchel has infuriated citizens of Reykjavík by plastering posters around the Icelandic capital as part of the Reykjavík Arts Festival. Büchel used a poster for the right-wing Swiss political party SVP (Schweizerische Volkspartei) which shows three white sheep kicking a black one off the Swiss flag. He translated its slogan, “Creating security”, into Icelandic.
“[We] received a huge number of complaints about the posters, and demands that they be removed immediately. People felt they were racist, and in many cases they simply tore them down,” a spokesman for the City of Reykjavík, told The Art Newspaper.
A field with four real black sheep and a Swiss flag was also part of the installation. However, because of its remote location, few Icelanders found it.
In May residents of a town near Reykjavík staged demonstrations after the government decided that their area should accommodate refugees from Iraq.
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