January 3, 2008

The genius of the ROM fake bomb

The ROM fake bomb is definitely art. But is it a great work of art? That remains to be seen. Jonsson's artwork is unfinished.

His artwork is a Brechtian provocation on the topic of risk and fear in public spaces. It is also simply an artwork about terrorism. Jonsson skillfully generated a great deal of fear in the public and anger in newspaper and television viewers who were able to empathize with his victims. I suspect that the artist himself was suppressing his own empathy for the sake of art. Sheer brilliance.

The people in the museum who thought they might die gruesome deaths during the bomb threat are now able to enter into the relational aesthetics produced by Jonsson's artwork. Through the use of the socio-sculptural processes of public institutions such as the legal system, for example, others can "recontextualize" violent retribution by suing him and his famous family.

Such an action would loudly critique the emotional hegemony of terrorism in its various forms: representational, imagined, threatened, and plain old lethal. It would be a great intervention, a great gesture, and a great way to complete this collaborative social artwork that has affected so many people.

The money generated by this "lawsuit project" could then be used to fund institutions in our society that promote open government, civilian police oversight, ethically-managed surveillance systems and other ways of balancing the recent increase in state control of our public and private lives, be it real or imagined. The money could also be used to make a donation to the AIDS charity that was disrupted by the "bomb."

Any funds left over could be set aside for an art history scholarship at OCAD that future generations may learn the difference between Duchamp and Magritte.

1 comment :

iwoj said...

An excellent graffitti response to the ROM bomb.