Dan Park – The Swede jailed for Provoking Racial Hatred
The controversial Swedish street artist, Dan Park, has done it again, and this time it has landed him in jail for 6 months for “incitement to racial hatred”. The gallery Rönnqvist & Rönnqvist in Malmö opened its doors to the public on the 5th of July 2014 for the showing of Park’s “Captivating street art” exhibition and was summarily closed by the police who then ceased some of his works (above picture included) and took Park into custody. This isn’t the first time and personally I don’t think it will be the last time for this artist to be tried and charged for his depictions.
His street art, as reported, started in 1988 after a murder trial which actually encompassed Sweden, Denmark and Finland. (Åmsele Murders) You can describe what Park creates as politically incorrect, provocative and satirical art which then gets pasted on public surfaces – self said he isn’t politically oriented – is he simply a social provocateur with a penchant for parody?
Art is in the eye of the beholder, right? Or is it beauty? Art versus beauty. Beauty versus art. It’s all still in the eye of the beholder – their interpretation of what is and what isn’t, is circumstantial. Who is to say what it is – the law, the expert or the people who behold it.
Circumstantial circumstances are the case in question.
Controversial Art has been part of our history since the question – Is it Art? was first asked. We could debate the meaning of art as much as we can debate what came first the egg or the chicken. The debate, it’s endless, filled with opinions (all of which have value since they are only opinions), experts expertise and the public’s overwhelmed meaning. Or should we just simply accept it as art – unexplainable, raw and over emotional feeling of what is.
Art has always been the mirror of society – and a mirror has no opinion, it simply reflects back what it sees. Does that mean we should judge and condemn that mirror for taking the time to reflect what is going on around us?
Maybe it be satirical, parodical or provocative – it has created a discussion and that is what makes us different from all other creatures on this earth.
Kristian von Hornsleth, a conceptual artist and not without some controversy, has bravely and gracefully given us the opportunity here in Denmark to see the exhibition of Dan Park’s work, they will actually include the 8-9 pieces for which Dan Park has been convicted for.
The exhibition is organised by Trykkefrihedsselskabet (Freedom of the Press Society), who are the defenders of the freedom of expression here in Denmark, and it will be held at the Hornsleth & Friends gallery on Bredgade 8, 1260 Copenhagen K, 23rd – 31st of October 2014 at 17:00 local time.