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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 08:49 AM
Original message
The world's most controversial Lego model
Polish artist Zbigniew Libera's Konzentrationslager is a work of art he created in 1996 with the unwitting help of the Lego Group, who were happy to help out with a few buckets of bricks until they realized that Libera's project consisted of fake Lego packaging detailing an Auschwitz-style death camp.

From the Cult of Lego:

From the beginning, Konzentrationslager caused a huge sensation, with viewers split on whether it was an important work or a travesty. Depicting genocide with a toy made people uncomfortable. Some Holocaust activists saw the work as trivializing the experiences of survivors, while others disagreed. The Jewish Museum in New York City displayed the sets for several months in 2002 as part of an exhibit on Nazi imagery in modern art.

Even LEGO joined in the criticism, complaining that Libera hadn't told the company what he was intending when it donated the bricks and that this contribution didn't constitute sponsorship as implied by the packagings labeling. LEGO tried to get Libera to stop displaying the work, backing down from its pressure only after the artist hired a lawyer.

Libera, one of Poland's preeminent artists, was asked to attend the Venice Biennale in 1997 -- on the condition that he leave Konzentrationslager at home. The artist had been imprisoned in the early '80s for publishing an underground comic mocking Poland's Soviet rulers, and that kind of put him off of censorship, so he chose not to attend.

http://boingboing.net/2011/10/25/the-worlds-most-controversial-lego-model.html
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GodlessBiker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm torn. Can it be both an important work and a travesty?
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. That's the point.
personally, I think it points out the duality of society in an age were we have turned violence into a game.

so depicting a concentration camp in lego's is a statement on just that.

it shows how commercialism has trivialized our sense of outrage over something really horrible.
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secondwind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm not sure, but do kids really need to learn about death and camps so early?
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. You know it's an art piece and not for sale, right? nt
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occupyeverywhere Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. Some kids learn about it very early
and in person.
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. Sheesh. nt
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
5. Since when do we freak out over controversial art?
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:05 AM
Original message
It seems like all the time now.
but then again, art, in one way, shape or another has pissed off someones "sensibilities".

But that is the beauty and job of it.

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jmg257 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. I have no trouble with the message/art, but if I was LEGO? P.O.d for sure! nt
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
7. Libera is a GENIUS!
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I think so too. :) nt
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Courageous, too! Libera went to jail for drawing cartoons about the commies...
One of Libera's photographic works:



And he laughed at them from there, too.
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eShirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I like that
getting the last laugh
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Lint Head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
10. Art's meaning is personal. How an individual reacts is the point.
True art should cause one to think as opposed to just being decoration. Good art can have many different meanings depending on who the audience is.

To me this piece demonstrates how corporations and society have commercialized confinement and death and how commercial everything, be it happy or sad, has become. By causing this controversy the artist keeps the fact that internment camps are real and still with us.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 08:28 PM
Response to Original message
12. A few more examples...














I saw an exhibit of his work at University of Michigan a few years back. Awesome!
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
15. I can never condone censorship of controversial art. Go Libera! nt
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