Tag Archives: Austria

The Controversial Poster for “Nude Men – From 1800 to Today” Exhibition


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Myself  .

By T.V. Antony Raj

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More women than men stop to stare at Mr. Big by Ilse Haider. Installation in the courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier, Vienna Walk-in sculpture. Courtesy Galerie Steinek, Vienna
More women than men stop to stare at Mr. Big by Ilse Haider. Installation in the courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier, Vienna Walk-in sculpture. Courtesy Galerie Steinek, Vienna

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In Austria, Elisabeth and Rudolf Leopold collected more than 5,000 exhibits over five decades. In 1994, the exhibits were consolidated into the Leopold Museum Private Foundation with the help of the Republic of Austria and the National Bank of Austria.

The Leopold Museum, housed in the Museumsquartier in Vienna, Austria, opened in 2001. It has one of the largest collections of modern Austrian art featuring artists such as Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and Richard Gerstl. In fact, it houses the world’s largest Egon Schiele Collection.

The core of the Leopold Museum collection consists of Austrian art of the first half of the 20th century. It  includes key paintings and drawings by Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Major Austrian works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries illustrate the historical context. They show the gradual transformation from the Wiener Secession, the Art Nouveau/Jugendstil movement in Austria to Expressionism.

On October 19, 2012, it opened its major exhibition by Ilse Haider, about male nudes titled “Nackte Männer von 1800 bis heute” (“Nude Men – From 1800 to Today”). The exhibits describe how male nudity has evolved in art and includes pieces by Egon Schiele, Auguste Rodin and Andy Warhol.

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Nackte Männer (Source - .huffingtonpost.co.uk)
The controversial Poster “Nackte Männer – von 1800 bis heute” (Source – .huffingtonpost.co.uk)

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The Museum advertised the event with a large promotional street poster that featured one of the exhibition’s most prominent artworks, a photograph called ‘Vive La France‘ by French artists Pierre & Gilles. It showed three French football players: the first black, the second Arab/Muslim and the third white. All three players standing naked on a pitch, with their genitals revealed, showered with confetti. They wore nothing but socks and boots.

The poster elicited a public outcry. The Museum denied the allegations that the controversial poster was a gimmick to draw crowds to its major exhibition. However, the artists themselves amended their work. They added a red stripe to cover the players’ genitalia on roughly 180 large posters in Vienna.

In fact, the public outcry proved that the photo’s jubilant scene prophetic. The exhibition, which ran until January 28, 2012, was a great success and drew more than 2000 daily visitors. evolved in art and includes pieces by Egon Schiele, Auguste Rodin and Andy Warhol.

An obvious question that arises from the controversy over the naked French footballers is:

“Why is the image of a naked male more controversial than the image of a naked female?”

May be we have become more accustomed to seeing naked women more than naked men.  The devil

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Would You like to Live in a Topsy-turvy House?


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25)

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The upside down house in the village of Szymbark , Poland
The upside down house in the village of Szymbark , Poland

Would you like to live in a topsy-turvy house like the above one? This house can be found in the tiny village of Szymbark in the municipality of Stężyca, in northern Poland. It is a center for winter sports.

As on December 31, 2011, the village of Szymbark had a total of 627 residents, with 544 people living in the main part of the village. The above upside-down house was built in 2007 by Daniel Czapiewski, a Polish businessman, builder and philanthropist.

Normally, it takes hardly three weeks for Czapiewski’s company to build a house. However, this extra-ordinary creative project took 114 days because of its structural design; moreover, the workers were a bit confused by the topsy-turvy architecture.

In 2010, in a poll conducted by “Official Baltic,” voted the Kashubian entrepreneur as  “The Man of the Year 2010” for his ingenuity of design that has become a tourist attraction in Szymbark.

In the first place, what prompted Daniel Czapiewski to design the house to stand upside down? Well, the eccentric person that he is, Daniel Czapiewski opines that it represents his view on the current state of the world – the time of uncertainty after the end of the communist era in Poland.

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By the way, this house in the village of Szymbark, Poland is not the first upside down house to be built. Wonderworks Upside Down Building in Florida opened in 1998. There are also upside down houses in Austria, Germany, Russia, Spain, Turkey, South Korea, a café in Japan and so on.

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This is not a house, it is a statue in Vancouver, Canada (Image credits - papalars)
This is not a church, it is a sculpture in Canada (Image credits: papalars)

The above image is a unique statue and not a church. American sculptor Dennis Oppenheim designed this imposing 22 x 18 x 9 feet sculpture composed of galvanized structural steel, anodized perforated aluminum, transparent red Venetian glass, and concrete foundations, as an upside down church, with its steeple buried in the ground.

The piece, initially called “Church,” was proposed to the Public Art Fund in the city of New York to be built on Church Street. It was commissioned by the President’s Panel on Art. However, the president of Stanford University turned down the sculpture since he considered it as “not appropriate” for the campus. The director thought it was too provocative and might infuriate the Church and the religious folks in that area. To evade this situation Dennis Oppenheim then changed the title to “Device to Root out Evil”.

Though the “Device to Root Out Evil” was too hot for New York City, too hot for Stanford University, it finally found a public home in Vancouver. It was first installed in a public park in Vancouver, Canada. As expected, people again considered it too hot for Vancouver as well. The public had a mixed reaction towards the work and the Vancouver public parks committee voted to remove the sculpture. The Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Canada seized the opportunity to display the sculpture. After removing it from Vancouver, the museum placed it in Ramsay, Calgary’s most creative neighbourhood where it is now being celebrated.

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