Most Interesting Thing I’ve Read All Day ($23 Milllion UN Ceiling–Part 2)

This via The Brussels Journal (all bolds mine) and titled “Europe’s Multiculturalists: Reaching for the Marmalade Skies:”

…In the last few days the European headquarters of the United Nations has unveiled its new ceiling, decorated by Miquel Barceló, and funded to the tune of 20 million Euros by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. It …is the sort of art that one might see in a kindergarten classroom – made of papier-mâché – though it is of course much grander in scale…it compares poorly with the abstract painting of Mark Rothko or the water lilies of Monet.

Yet, that Zapatero has thought to use art as an instrument to assure his place in political history is not surprising…new political movements have often demanded a style of art. The early Italian fascists had Futurism, for example, and Barceló’s art will represent the ideology of multiculturalism

Nor is this the first time a government of Spain has sought the help of an artist…Picasso’s masterpiece, Guernica, was commissioned by the then Spanish government, for exhibition at the 1937 Paris International, when civil war raged throughout Spain, and government forces were under attack by Franco’s…

While Picasso may be attacked for painting in a manner that was “child-like”…Guernica portrays the barbarity of war with a simplicity that can be understood by children…

…Barceló asks us not to think, to provoke or be provoked, but to accept – to forego reason and immerse ourselves instead in childish dreaminess. Unlike Guernica, the Sistine Chapel, or the reliefs of the US Supreme Court building, it is a work in which dialectic cannot be discerned, nor from which it is possible to initiate debate…

Barceló’s ceiling is thus the perfect backdrop to Europe’s Prozac politics – the religio-political cult of multiculturalism – in which all difficult questions, all dissent, all real content, can be dissolved not by rational argument, but by the invocation of paint-box clichés.

Granted the overstretches with his/her statements, particularly since multiculturalism is far from fascism…lest we forget great multiculturalist societies (as enshrined in their governmental policies) like Canada and Australia, which are not exactly fascist states.

But Europe’s version of multi-culti has always been problematic and more window dressing than reality (the demographics & history of Europe don’t seem to lend themselves to an ideal multicultural society). Regardless, A. Miller makes some good points.

2 responses to “Most Interesting Thing I’ve Read All Day ($23 Milllion UN Ceiling–Part 2)”

  1. I thought Futurism predated fascism in Italy. I know it’s origins were independent of fascism, and that they aligned themselves with the fascists because of their support of chaos, violence, and war.

  2. Yes, that’s true…the early fascists used Futurism that it’s notion of change to their advantage. The Fascists even commissioned some good architecture from futurist-leaning architects like the Casa del Fascio in Como, Italy. The Fascists may have been assholes but they had sometimes had decent taste.

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