In Bochum, Germany, there is a popular structure that looks like two buildings having sex. The art installation is called “Domestikator” and it’s a 40-foot tall structure created by Dutch artist Joep Van Lieshout as a commentary on “ethical dilemmas of our time like bestiality, production and consumption” and a “tribute to the ingenuity, the sophistication and the capacities of humanity, to the power of organization, and to the use of this power to dominate, domesticate the natural environment.”
Domestikator was expected to be one of the highlights at the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) in Paris’ Tuileries Gardens later this month, but the Louvre has pulled the plug, calling the art piece too explicit. Plus, it’s because of it’s height, it could be seen from a nearby children’s playground.
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Van Lieshout tells LeMonde that the Lourve’s decision is “total hypocrisy” and that “in Bochum, whole classes came to see the Domestikator. People saw something funny but not decadent. And if children see something sexual, it is because they are old enough to see it. ”
As for whether or not he thinks his art is too gratuitous, Van Lieshout says, “There’s nothing bestial in the Domestikator. My point is how men domesticate the planet , how they can also improve it. ”
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In 2005, Van Lieshout installed another piece of risqué art called Bar rectum, which was an actual bar where patrons drank and the anus served as an emergency exit, on the Messeplatz during Switzerland’s Basel Fair. Nobody blinked an eye.
If you recall, in 2014, Paul McCarthy’s “Christmas Tree,” which looked an awful lot like an anal plug, was vandalized and eventually taken down at the FIAC. Perhaps the Louvre doesn’t want a repeat.