In the early 1990s – several Romanian gypsies were accused and later arrested for capturing, cooking over a fire and eating swans in public parks of Vienna.
Similar swan killing incidents also took place in other parts of Europe, this time the picnickers were illegal immigrants that had made themselves at home in the fake oasis of a public park.
This quote comes from an article in The Daily Mail from 2010“This week, with spring in the air and flowers in bloom on the banks, few local people were brave enough to venture for an evening stroll along this delightful waterway, following disturbing allegations that Eastern European immigrants are ‘plundering’ and ‘pillaging’ local wildlife.”
I have been thinking about the crime that was committed in the park, it was not only in harming the birds, but also destroying the European symbol of beauty – or what used to be the symbol of beauty. Recently the swan has become more of a mascot for kitsch – porcelain swans, Vernon Ward prints, swan lake ballet… I’m sure roast kitsch tastes gross…
Growing up in Russia, our washing would sometimes freeze in winter and my sister and I would amuse ourselves, fencing each other with the frozen laundry. Our favourite of all the frozen weapons were jeans. The straight icy pant legs would make us both chuckle. The jeans would start to melt in our hands as we re-imagined them as swords.
“Identity tags are incredibly common in today’s globalised art market. Despite the lingua franca of conceptual art, success as an artist – primarily but not exclusively outside of the ‘unmarked’ West – requires that quantum of ‘Chineseness’ or ‘Africanness’ or ‘Russianess’ be easily communicated in any particular work.” David Joselit After Art