Mad Sci-Artist's Abominable Feagull Aborted

Burned into My Retinas: And there goes any chance I had of sleeping this week. And now I have to poke my eyes out. Wonderful. Thanks!

Swiss Museum Withdraws Chinese Human Foetus Artwork After Scandal

from AFP

BERN - A Chinese artwork comprising the head of a human foetus sewn to the body of a seagull has been withdrawn from a museum in Switzerland after causing a scandal, organisers said.

"We have decided to withdraw this work from the exhibition because we are no longer able to handle the amount of interest it is generating," said Bernard Fibicher, curator at Bern's Museum of Fine Arts.

The 1999 piece by Xiao Yu - who aims to "provoke the viewer into reflecting on the absurdity of life," according to the museum's catalogue - is part of an exhibition of contemporary Chinese art running until October 16.

The foetus-seagull, which is pickled in formaldehyde, proved too much for a 29-year-old Swiss visitor, Adrien de Riedmatten. He has filed a complaint against the museum for disturbing the peace of the dead and for allowing the portrayal of violence.

According to Fibicher, Xiao Yu obtained the foetus from Beijing's Museum of Natural History, which was replacing it after several years on display. He then grafted it onto the seagull's body to "demonstrate against the monsters we create through genetic manipulation," said Fibicher.

The artist is also known for sewing live mice together and filming them when they try to walk - but that particular work is not part of the Bern show.


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