You remember Lars Vilks? In 2007 the Swedish art historian and artist creates caricatures of Mohammed and manages to get one published in the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper. Less than a month later, Vilks has a price on his head!
Today, the story is far from over. On September 10, 2011, the Röda Sten Art Centre, which hosted the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Göteborg, was evacuated due to what was thought to be a terrorist threat. Four men were apprehended, one of whom was carrying a knife with which he planned to kill the artist. Vilks had announced on his blog that he wanted to go to the Biennale in question, however, for one reason or another was never able to attend. Now that the motive behind the attack has officially been confirmed, the suspects are not charged on accounts of terrorist acts but rather for attempted murder.
For Vilks, though, this is nothing new. Even to this day, he regularly receives death threats. If we recall, in December 2010, a suicide bombing took place in Stockholm, which was partly motivated by the artist's scandalous drawings. In May of that very same year, some individuals attempted to set fire to his house. Within a week from that incident, Vilks was assaulted at conference at the University of Uppsala while giving a lecture on the limits of freedom of expression in art.
Unforgivably disrespectful or boldly critical, maybe both, Vilks' work undeniably sheds light on contemporary taboos and current social conflicts.
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Art Monaco 2012