Thursday, January 21, 2016

Nude Pose Next to Naked Olympia

Édouard Manet, Olympia (1863). Image: Courtesy of New Directions
The Luxembourgian performance artist Deborah de Robertis has been arrested at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, France after disrobing and reclining in front of Édouard Manet's Olympia, recreating the pose of the famous painting's subject.
Museum-goers were enjoying an exhibition entitled ‘Splendour and Misery: Images of Prostitution 1850-1910’ when the 31-year old performance artist undressed and lie down in the nude.
On Sunday, de Robertis' lawyer Tewfik Bouzenoune said the artist “was wearing a portable camera to film the public's reaction," insisting that “it was an artistic performance," UK’s Guardian reports.
It was not the Olympia’s first scandal: the painting of a naked woman gazing directly at the viewer created an uproar when it was shown in 1865. It is seen as clearly depicting a prostitute, a real woman unlike the dreamy nymphs, religious or historical figures usually featured in art at the time.

However De Robertis’s naked display was a little too real for the Musée d’Orsay’s tastes.

“There were many people in front of the painting. Security guards responded well, they closed the room and asked her to get dressed,” a spokeswoman for the museum told news agency AFP.

“As she refused, the police were called and removed her.”

The museum had pressed charges for indecent exposure.

De Robertis is becoming something of a recurrent problem for the historic Parisian museum due to her highly explicit re-enactments of controversial 19th century French paintings.

The artist made headlines in May 2014 for exposing her vagina in front of Gustave Courbet's L'Origine du Monde (Origin of the World) for a video work titled Mirror of Origin. She was also removed from the premises by police back then.
Deborah de Robertis performing Mirror of Origin (2014). Photo: Video still via DailyMotion
After the incident, de Robertis insisted: “If you ignore the context, you could construe this performance as an act of exhibitionism, but what I did was not an impulsive act."  

On Monday, I was at the Money & You Toastmasters meeting at 3rd Mile Square in KL’s Old Klang Road.
I left after only 27 minutes. Enough said.
Liverpool eased past fourth-tier Exeter City 3-0 in the FA Cup third-round replay yesterday.
Joe Allen put the Reds ahead in the tenth minute, sweeping home from close range after good work by Brad Smith and Christian Benteke. But then they made heavy weather of their opponents and did not add to their lead until substitute Sheyi Ojo curled home superbly in the seventy-fourth minute. And Joao Teixeira rounded off a comfortable victory for Jurgen Klopp's side with a neat near-post finish eight minutes from time.

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